On April 21st, 2018 Kahikinui Hawaiian Homestead lease holders met at Hale Pi‘i. Many of the 84 adults in attendance had heard about the meeting through word of mouth. Many lease holders did not receive communication from Department of Hawaiian Homelands about the meeting. Many more lease holders did not receive communication on other Kahikinui matters.
An apology was made explaining why communication had not been successful. One of the reasons was that a commercial gmail address was being used to inform lease holders but that some were reluctant to open an email from an unknown address. Attempts to use postal mail also failed in timely meeting notice deliveries. The meeting had a resounding theme of a long timeline of communication break down and helped to understand how things went wrong.
Less than 10% of lease holders have been making decisions without the consent of the leaseholder majority. A non-beneficiary, for-profit entity contracted the work of ungulate removal with trapping methods that have not been fully vetted by the leasehodlers. The questionable hunting practices has fueled fiery discussions and scathing social media exchange.
Kahikinui Leaseholders, Living Indigenious Forest Ecosystems (L.I.F.E.) and Kahikinui Game and Land Mangement Orgnization (KGLMO) were not consulted or included in this important decision making. These two oganizations were the original authors of the game and land management plan. L.I.F.E. also secured funding for initial operatives for area reforestation.
The meeting ended with a sense of positive change. Kahikinui leaseholders can update contact information by calling DHHL Maui District Office at (808) 760-5120.