In the current surf-turf tug of war in the area popularly known as “Jaws,” the World Surfing League (WSL) is struggling to hang ten in 2020. The WSL has been denied juried events at epic surfing spots around the world, courtesy of COVID-19, and now the WSL is doing some head-scratching as lawful Hawaiian Nationals demand the return of Hawaiian rights and soul surfing.
It just so happens that one of the world’s largest surf breaks is on Hawaiian Kingdom Crown Lands on Maui’s north shore. This particularly amazing shore break is in Peahi and has been made commercially famous by big wave surfing. King Kamehameha III, known more admirably to his loyal legion as Kauikeaoli, left these adjacent lands for his Hawaiian Kingdom Nationals. Stoked, double shaka.
Let’s back up one hundred years to put matters in context. Sugar conglomerate, now real estate company, Alexander & Baldwin (A&B) originally leased massive epic acreage specifically for agriculture use. The lease expired and those who rubbed elbows with these export moguls let history conveniently read that they owned the land when, in fact, they did not. Massive fraud by ignoramuses. Ignoring so many facts and laws has created mayhem today.
As the pendulum swings back to native rights and native tenancy on Crown Lands, many are experiencing a bit of scuttlebutt. Agents, partners, and those who have conspired with A&B insist they have rights they do not. Lineal descendants, area resident stewards, and Hawaiian Nationals purposely planted kalo as a symbol of reclamation, rights, and peace. With greed and dollar signs in their eyes, WSL partners and event profiteers ripped the planting out of the ground. They are having a difficult time understanding and adhering to laws – state laws, U.S. Laws, and international laws.
It is not surprising that this news is breathtaking for some, like gasping for air after the pull of an undertow when you wipe out. Think about it: more than 40 thousand acres of Maui Crown Lands once used for agriculture are purported to be in A&B’s land portfolio. However, these sacred acres are Crown Lands for Hawaiian Nationals and those who need, cultivate, or steward an inherited or choiced ‘aina.
Let that sink in.
There’s lots to say about the fraudulent Tax Map Key (TMK) process. Mass hysteria need not occur, but large landowners who acquired their lands through the slap-in-the-face process called “Quiet Title” need to come up for air. They need to give their brains more air. Disillusioned corporate interests have usurped lands King Kamehameha III designated for the greater population. Large expansive vistas that were lush, green, and growing the sweet sugar and pineapple are now quenching for kanaka and Hawaiian Nationals who know they must return. And, whatever they shape their ‘aina to be, they must have access to the water they need. Crown Lands are for the people and so is the water, naturally.
Fast forward to the waves of today. The WSL has relied on corrupt corporate landlord pretenders to host a Jaws big wave event each year. However, the event has garnered little to no respect by area residents, Hawaiian Nationals, and the surrounding community that cannot tolerate the unsustainable congestion the event creates. While WSL flounders, Hawaiian Nationals have taken root by planting dryland kalo (taro) where the Jaws event tent was previously situated. While event coordinators are prematurely waxing their surf boards, Hawaiian Nationals are pounding poi boards.
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