Sunday, July 7, 2002

Kenneth Kekona Jr. said a developer has blocked access to native Hawaiian fishing grounds at Paukukalo. Standing next to him here was his 12-year-old daughter, Keana.

Barriers block vehicles’
access to Maui
fishing grounds

The developer says they are
necessary to keep out drug users

By Gary T. Kubota

PAUKUKALO, Maui >> Kenneth Kekona Jr. said his family and many other native Hawaiians have used the shoreline at Paukukalo for fishing and surfing for generations.


But Kekona said a land developer's installation of concrete poles has blocked their access to fishing grounds at Nehe Point and the mouth of Iao Stream.

"He just came down here and cause a lot of friction," Kekona said.

Residents have scheduled a meeting about the access problem starting 4 p.m. tomorrow at Maluhia Church on Lower Waiehu Beach Road.

The 65-acre property, sold by Wailuku Agribusiness about 16 months ago, extends along the coast between the stream mouths at Waiehu and Iao.

Maui County Planning Commissioners have asked the developer, Robin Williams -- not the actor -- to discuss his plans with residents and see if they can resolve the conflict.

Williams, who is seeking an after-the-fact special management area minor permit for installing the poles about two months ago, said he wanted to stop the drug use, rave parties and dumping of trash on his property.

"The cars equal trash plus drugs," Williams said.

Williams said his investment group North Shore at Waiehu LLC wants to develop 60 lots, each about 10,000 square feet in size.

He said he plans to eventually install four to five beach accesses, provide a Hawaiian cultural center for residents and set aside 35 acres for park use.

But he said the plans for the property are still being developed and are under review.

A portion of the property that includes the park encompasses a wetlands area.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is reviewing a proposal, including the outline of the wetlands.

Native Hawaiians say they are worried about the potential desecration of old burial sites on the property.

Williams said he has had an archaeological study done of the property and has no intention of razing burial sites.

Williams said he has received several letters from residents supporting his closure of vehicular access to a portion of his property.

Kekona said the vehicular access is needed to carry the equipment to catch fish, including fishing poles and throw nets.

Kenneth Kekona Sr., 69, said families also need vehicles to gather stream stones that are used as heating rocks for the traditional imu, or underground oven.

Kekona said some elderly Hawaiians used to ride the vehicles down to the shoreline to dip their feet in the stream and ocean water for medicinal purposes.

"They can't do that now," Kekona said.

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