Honomanū Water Rights Demonstrators Urge Governor to Veto HB2501
About 30 farmers and residents gathered at Honomanū bridge along the Hāna Highway on Saturday in an effort to draw attention to their objection of House Bill 2501.
Organizers say the early morning rain did not detour participants from educating motorists along the busy Hāna Highway about their cause.
Community members from Hāna to Waiheʻe gathered at Honomnaū, a stream that organizers say is currently 100% diverted by Alexander & Baldwin, Mauiʻs century-old sugar cane plantation owners.
Kupuna of the area and children joined together in the three hour event, which was strategically scheduled around the early morning Hāna-bound tourist traffic that organizers say can number 2,500 cars a day.
“Event goers reported that they are kuaʻāina (country folk) and exhibited lōkahi (unity) and aloha ʻāina (love for the land) while bringing awareness. The group conveyed their kuleana (responsibility) as stewards of the land to practice their Hawaiian values while exercising peaceful conduct throughout efforts surrounding this critical water issue,” said event organizers.
The grass roots event was organized by Healoha Carmichael a lineal descendant and gatherer of the Wailua Nui area.
The upcoming week is expected to be a busy one for area residents as they ramp up efforts to urge Hawaiʻi Governor Daivd Ige to veto HB2501. Those opposed to the legislation have dubbed the measure the “water theft bill,” while proponents have called it a “water holdover bill,” or a “water rights bill.”
A petition is available at https://www.change.org/p/kōkua-save-our-streams-kalo-farms.