Maui Discussion

Ask the Mayor: Responding to Reports of Nudity at Pāʻia Bay

August 31, 2014, 12:01 PM HST
* Updated September 7, 5:17 PM
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File photo Pāʻia. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

File photo Pāʻia. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

The mayor answers questions from the public in this series.

By Mayor Alan Arakawa

Q: There is a stretch of beach between Baldwin Beach Park and Pāʻia Bay, where the old lime kiln used to be, that has become a nudist gathering spot. Isn’t this an illegal activity? If so, what can be done to prevent this from going on as it has been for months now? This bay is right next to the Maui Youth and Cultural Center.

A: In talking with our Maui Police Department, they said that officers will respond to calls involving “open lewdness,” which is the law people violate when they expose themselves publicly. However, MPD recommends using two phone numbers for two different scenarios.

If the person in question is nude but keeping to themselves, i.e. “passively” sunbathing, then police recommend calling their administrative line at 244-6400. If the person in question is being aggressive, exposing themselves to people and engaging in other forms of harassment, people should call 911. Police will respond in both cases but obviously there is a higher priority placed on the second scenario.

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Some people have asked whether they should take a picture of the nude sunbather with their cell phones as evidence for police when they arrive, but this is not necessary. Also, you run the risk of turning a passive situation into a confrontation if the individual sees you taking their picture. Better to let police handle the situation.

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Lastly, this question is another good reason why the County should take advantage of the offer by Alexander & Baldwin to give us 36 acres of coastline – which would include this beach – if the County purchases a lot in their Kahului business park for our new service center. We could clear out the sugar cane and brush and make the beach more accessible for the public, which in turn would likely deter this sort of nudity from happening in the first place.

Want to Ask the Mayor?

Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email: [email protected], phone: 270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.

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