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Stewardship Agreement at Palauea Cultural Preserve

Palauea, file photo by Wendy Osher. [1]

Palauea, file photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College’s Hawaiian Studies Program, E Hoʻoulu Lāhui, joined together in a special blessing ceremony at Palauea in South Maui on Tuesday.

According to OHA, the blessing marks the official return of the Lāhui’s stewardship to the 20.75 acre Palauea Cultural Preserve site, which is located between Kīhei and Mākena along the Old Mākena Road, and continuing to Mākena Alanui.

In “stark contrast” to the multi-million dollar luxury homes it is surrounded by, Palauea is considered one of the last open spaces along the Mākena shoreline.

OHA Maui Trustee Carmen Hulu Lindsey is credited with helping the Office of Hawaiian Affairs finalize an agreement with the land developer to accept a donation of the preserve, an announcement said.

The agreement calls for the stewardship of the preserve to rest with the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College’s Hawaiian Studies Program, which will use the site as a living classroom.

OHA officials called the acquisition of the Palauea Cultural Preserve “a gift to the community,” saying that it will not only help to protect the past, but, “it will be significant in leading Hawaiians into the future.”