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Passenger Boats Survey Results

Community Contributed
By `Aha Kiole o Molokai

The `Aha Kiole o Molokai has made a concerted effort to reach the community to get feedback and input regarding the arrival of the American Safari Cruises. Now, results are out from an island-wide “Advent of Passenger Boats and Yachts Survey.” A vast majority – 85 percent – of people voted “no,” 11 percent voted “yes” and 4 percent voted “yes, with controls.” We had 395 people participate in our surveys.

The results of the four Moku meetings showed 36 percent voting “no,” 8 percent voting “no” and the majority, 56 percent, voting for controls. We had a total of 326 people attend our five meetings.

The focus of the `Aha Kiole is to protect and preserve the island’s resources, and to create opportunities for our people to have a say in how our resources are managed through a collaborative community process. Our surveys and moku meetings gave everyone a chance to speak out about the impact of the American Safari Cruises on Molokai, in a fair and inclusive process that reflected the voices of those who chose to participate. Although our mission and our main concern relates to direct impact on island resources, there were many respondents who suggested economic management ideas for cruise ship visits to Molokai as a mandatory prerequisite for allowing the cruise tour industry here. In the interest of open communication, we are including some of those issues that were mentioned most often.

I. Protection and Enhancement of Environment and Culture
1. Subsistence: No visits to Mo`omomi; Encourage work in Fishponds and Taro Lo`i; No overnight stays on North Shore.
2. Wahi Pana/Kapu Zone: No visits to Kaulukukui o Lanikaula; No visits to Halawa Valley; No visits to Iliiliopae.
3. Commercial/Recreation Activity: No Ocean activities except with local existing vendors. Regulate authenticity, legitimacy and validity of all cultural vendors. No dumping of rubbish in Ocean or on Molokai. Attend a 45-minute orientation on Molokai and its Culture, with input from each Moku.
II. Fair Exchange of Value and Sharing of Wealth
1. Rotate the use of existing vendors, such as Vans and Tours.
2. All tours and activities must be escorted by local escorts.
3. Use existing Hotels and legal B&B for overnight stays (no sleeping on Ship).
4. Use existing restaurants and eateries (no eating on the ship).
5. Donate to a Community Fund (not the Aha Kiole o Molokai) to be used for environmental/cultural protection and enhancement on Molokai.
III. Limit and Control over the Number, Size and Frequency of Visits
1. No more than two full size Vans per visit, or 30 people per boat.
2. No more than One Boat Visit a Week, others say a month, what do you say?
IV. Separation of Visitors from Real Estate Sales and Land Taxes
1. All visitors must attend a 45-minute orientation which includes land issues past and present.
V. Community Process must include free and informed community participation and consent. Community meetings must be held in each of the Moku that will be impacted.

The initial findings of the Aha Kiole o Molokai regarding the “Advent of passenger boats and yachts to Molokai” will be discussed at upcoming Moku community meetings. This is another chance for the community to voice their mana`o before a final document is formulized and presented to DLNR and the County of Maui.

Here is the time and places of the Moku community meetings:
Mana`e Moku: Mana`e Community Center, March 28, 5 p.m. potluck, 6 p.m. meeting Pala`u Moku: Lanikeha Community Center, April 9, 6 p.m.
Kawela Moku: Mitchell Pauole Center, March 21, 6 p.m.


20 Responses to “Passenger Boats Survey Results”

  1. BobM says:

    What an interesting—but not surprising—result. While I have not been to MKK in about 5 years or so, I have spent many weeks and months on Molokai over a 20 year period. I love and respect the island.

    I’m all for protecting the precious resources and cultural heritage of Molokai.

    At the same time, in following this theme over a number of years, this is a very sad story. We travel a fair amount and contrast to many other countries and parts of North America, it’s becoming painfully obvious that the majority of island residents do not want visitors; want to stifle any chance of a thriving island economy; and prefer to seek out sustainable poverty as a way of life. It’s a harsh reality that it’s hard for me to continue recommending Molokai as a “Friendly Island” place on my blog postings.

    “No” is not a welcoming term. Limit, control and separate are not inviting conditions for visitors. Not to mention that I’ve experienced as much damage to the island by native people as by “tourists.”

    It sure doesn’t mean that everything and everyplace has to be ‘fair game.’ But “No” needs to be “Yes, we can do that, open that, allow that” with some guidelines. It’s an attitude of ‘yes’ instead of an attitude of close the door.

    I have to laugh…there’s been struggles with air service to Molokai for years — not enough flights and too expensive. Hello. It’s a business. Visitors on flights mean more profit for carriers and lower prices for residents, too.

    Is there a chance for some middle ground. “Yes” I believe there should be. But it appears to me that the chance to change the wishes of too many to lock the door on Molokai is growing slim.

    I sure miss Molokai.

    • keikiaina says:

      This is not the MAJORITY of the island residents who support this article, it is maybe 5% of the 7500 people who live in OUR Community.

      • BobM says:

        Ah indeed you are correct, Keikiaina. Perhaps not with your percentages but indeed it’s possible, if not likely, that the majority fear and are intimatdated about admitting to the facts.

        I can’t believe that most residents prefer high drug use, critically low unemployment, lack of opportunity for residents and children and high costs for goods and services. But a closed mind to considering that there are solutions which can accommodate differences is going to spiral such a beautiful place even lower, I fear.

        How sad that so many places have figured out how visitors and tourists can bring prosperity without ruining their culture and way of life and you can’t.

    • Aloha BobM,
      Something you said resonates. Namely that “I’ve experienced as much damage to the island by native people as by ‘tourists’.” It is a sad fact that a significant number of ‘locals’ demonstrate the same sort of careless disregard for the ‘aina that we are quick to blame on ‘tourists’. Examples are endless: those who litter the landscape thoughtlessly, speed recklessly on the roads and routinely treat others with anything but aloha spirit. Granted, a large proportion are not kanaka ma’oli, but kama’aina, but certainly it is rare for many in both groups to walk-the-walk the same as they talk-the-talk. Although I am not a Christian, I fully believe in treating others with respect and dignity, whenever possible; it is a strong part of the ancient culture that we still have much to learn from, in my opinion. Reason and wisdom must always trump emotional bias and reactivity if any group of people are to live in an environment of collective harmony and peaceful accord, on a relatively small island like Molokai. Mahalos for your thoughts.

  2. halemalu says:

    i think the majority is silent for fear of being ridiculed. so much for freedom of speech. you get called racial slurs for that one. as for me, all i notice is that my friends (yes! locals!) and thier families have to leave for the mainland to be able to live a normal life with jobs, education, healthcare. and they do miss Molokai and their ohana a lot! the problem is that we need an alternative industry to tourism if tourism is so undesired. i see nobody suggest such realistic alternatives. and next week she moves, my friend’s newly born great-grandchild who may not be able to see her great-grandpa again.

  3. beachgoermolokai says:

    Attention Molokai Dispatch:
    Please explain how you can continue to print one-sided articles like these that are anti-business and anti-visitor, and then turn around and suggest that you’re changing your business model to be ‘based on the visitor industry’ because so many readers of your paper are visitors?

    Don’t you get it? Like so many on Molokai, you continue to bite the hand that feeds you.

    I hope EVERYONE reads this article in your paper and realizes how biased you are – and I hope they can do not fall for the trap of advertising their vacation rental condos in your paper.

    This is a wake up call to all of the Molokai businesses that advertise in this newspaper — why are you supporting someone with your advertising dollars when they are so blatantly against business, free enterprise, a self-sustaining capitalist economy that does not rely on government grants? Ever since it was ‘taken over’ the Dispatch has shown a clear bias for Walter Ritte and the people who want to keep Molokai down.

    If you want to support your family in an honorable way (e.g., that means not taking taxpayer money when you should be earning it like the rest of us), stop the bias and start printing a balanced newspaper.

  4. halemalu says:

    wouldn’t it be nice if we could pay our taxes with papayas, our auto insurance with mangoes, our house taxes to have good roads instead of mud roads, crime protection, ambulance service, schools, and on it goes, pay them with some deer meat we have shot. no this is reality and reality is either to live off taxpayers or create some jobs. doesn’t mean we allow the island to be over built and over-run. the people can set their own limits. rivht now there is no balance and no plan B that i can see. i wished there was. what would i lioke to see? a goat milk dairy, some food production etc. why do we need to bring everything in that we eat and consume? it all boils down to county permits. try to deal with the county. sigh! they say we preserve the island for our mo’puna. by gosh, they are LEAVING!

  5. kalaniua ritte says:

    everyone had a chance to give thier manao….if you didnt for what ever reason,then too bad…NO VOTE NO GRUMBEL….NEXT ISSUE

    • ponokai says:

      I agree with Kalaniua. Folks had an opportunity to voice their opinions. It sounds like the outcome was successful (in lieu of preventing the boat altogether). So what the boat company will be asked to follow rules. Those potential rules protect our resources, ensure accuracy of culture and generate revenue for businesses — doing the right thing! Why not follow the rules? Why be shady? I think if there are still “businesses” out there bummed that now business will be spread around then too bad for you. Stop being greedy.
      And Dispatch, mahalo for articles like these. The only ones ever complaining about any issue are always the ones on the other side.

  6. karenpoepoe says:

    I am the po’o alaka’i of the ‘Aha Kiole. First, please stop belittling the “locals” as a collective group of ill-mannered, racist, welfare recipients who prefer poverty conditions and wreck their own ‘aina. That is very offensive to most of the people I know who are hard-working and good Moloka’i residents. There are many more people on Moloka’i than the small groups you interact with, who are island residents of 3,4 and 5 generations , and they have a very profound interest in and love for Moloka’i. They know how precious the resources here are because those resources do not exist any longer in the Hawaiian islands except in extreme pockets that are difficult to find. There is only one Moloka’i and it is still pristine and bountiful. Our mission is to insure that that bounty continues for future generations, our keiki, and is not compromised for the profit-seeking of today, at the expense of tomorrow.

    The ‘Aha Kiole will be a target for those who want capitalism with no holds barred; still, we cannot be a responsible resource protection group without addressing some issues that inconvenience certain sectors, and relieve others. But we are trying to “walk-the-walk” that makes possible some alternatives to the way that the tourism trade has been handled on all of the other Hawaiian islands, that has arguably changed those islands irreparably. We’re trying our best to have an inclusive process. Expecting a scenario of guided tourism and agribusiness to bloom by itself is a lovely thought, but about as likely to happen here as it has happened elsewhere. We are working on the county plan as promised, with community input, and we are trying to integrate a management program that includes a responsible tourism initiative. We welcome suggestions that are viable, worthy, and do not hurt the environment or the culture.

    You would be very surprised to know the demographical makeup of those who actually participated in the moku meetings, and had their say. Having attended all of the moku meetings where there were less “locals” than you think; and paid out-of-pocket for every mailbox on the island to have a ballot, I am not sure why there continues to be doubts about how “unfair” our process has been.

    Here’s another survey to consider before you say too much more:

    Percentage of Hawaiian islands that have “figured out how visitors and tourists can bring prosperity without ruining the culture and way of life”= 0%

    Percentage of opportunity to vote without sharing your identity= 100%

  7. keikiaina says:

    July 12, 2011
    Honorable Members
    Twenty-Sixth Legislature
    State of Hawaii
    Pursuant to Section 16 of Article I11 of the
    Constitution of the State of Hawaii, I am returning herewith,
    without my approval, Senate Bill No. 23, entitled “A Bill for an
    Act Relating to Native Hawaiians.”
    The purpose of this bill is to establish within the
    Department of Land and Natural Resources, the aha kiole advisory
    council, which may advise the Office of the Chairperson of the
    Board of Land and Natural Resources and the Legislature on issues
    relating to land and natural resources management through the
    ‘aha moku system. The bill requires the ‘aha kiole advisory
    council to submit an annual report to the Office of the
    Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources and the
    Legislature at least twenty days prior to the convening of each
    regular session listing all recommendations made by the ‘aha
    kiole advisory council and the resulting action taken by the
    Department of Land and Natural Resources over the course of the
    year. This bill also appropriates funds for an executive
    While the goals of this bill are laudable, several
    difficulties need to be addressed. First, the council is selfselected,
    not confirmed, has no defined term limits, offers no
    guidelines concerning the role of its members, and will select
    its own executive director. In addition, there is no recourse
    for inappropriate conduct by its members or the ability to remove
    for cause. The resulting council would essentially be a private
    entity funded by taxpayers with no governmental oversight.
    Second, the intent in creating the council is similar to the
    Page 2
    purpose for which the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (lrOHAll) was
    created and is a natural evolution of what a new Native Hawaiian
    governing entity would seek to accomplish. If there is
    determination to not wait until this entity is formed, then the
    council should at least be placed within OHA and funded by OHA.
    Third, the bill only provides funding for an executive director.
    This assumes that all other costs associated with this
    legislation, including travel and other expenses for the eight
    council members, will be absorbed by the Department of Land and
    Natural Resources. I support the intent of the legislation to
    provide state government the knowledge of traditional Native
    Hawaiian resource management practices and welcome the chance to
    review a bill that addresses the previously mentioned concerns.
    For the foregoing reasons, I am returning Senate Bill
    No. 23 without my approval.

  8. karenpoepoe says:

    Aloha keikiaina,
    I really have not made myself a part these blogs in the past- too negative, not productive. I hope you heard my message of resource protection, which is the key issue for this island. The ‘Aha Kiole o Moloka’i has a significant number of members who do appreciate the opportunity to have a say in how Moloka’i develops, and each moku continues to open opportunities for more feedback. While we are still fairly new as an organization, we offer Moloka’i something that no other island has been able to, and that is the ability for its citizens to speak and be heard. The cruise ship issue is only one of many of the issues and projects that we are beginning to address, and each moku has the support of the others for positive resource management undertakings. If you attended any of the community meetings you would know that we have the support of the DLNR, OHA, Westpac, and the county- and it is their hope, and ours as well, that we can facilitate constructive community involvement in the care and development of our island. One of the messages we heard loud and clear from our surveys and meetings was that the people here wanted to have a managed cruise tour industry allowed on the island. There are extreme positions both for complete freedom of marketing Moloka’i for economic need and complete prevention of the overdevelopment associated with all cruise tour ports, not only in Hawai’i, but everywhere else. Those with extreme views are very passionate in their positions, and we are cognizant of their fears and hopes. However, the much larger group has asked for a managed tourism plan, and we will try our best, with ongoing feedback and interaction with the community, to develop a working plan that may not please everyone, but will create opportunities without destroying any part of Moloka’i in the long run. I hope you can see the positive potential, and involve yourself in the process.
    The ‘Aha Kiole o Moloka’i originated as a governing structure on Moloka’i hundreds of years ago. We are trying to incorporate this structure as a best practice because it is so community inclusive. We are associated with the ‘Aha Moku System statewide, which was unanimously approved in the legislature last year, and then vetoed by our governor. It is once again alive and has passed in the Senate and in the House Hawaiian Affairs committee, the Water, Land and Ocean committees, as well as the Finance committee. The bill, like so many others, is going through the process, and it seems to be having, once again, complete approval by every legislator who has voted on it, without reservations. (See SB 3053 and HB 2806). The amendments hope to place the ‘Aha Moku Council in partnership with with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
    Whether or not the ‘Aha Moku bill passes, the opportunity for Moloka’i to have a concerted voice and to be an influential part of its own destiny has been recognized by our people, through the potential this ‘Aha Kiole structure has to offer.
    I hope you hear and recognize as well the bigger picture, and we can move toward proactivity, learning to be respectful of each other in the process.

    • keikiaina says:

      The statements in the above news article reminds be of communism, CONTROL of a few. Secondly, this is the United States and we have laws to address issues through our government agencies of State of Hawaii legislators and United States Congress. These ELECTED officials are VOTED in by the people.Where was the election, for your position and the others in your group?

      You are addressing issues concerning visitors. More and more people are moving to Molokai and you can not stop it. This is democractic country, the United States has a system of goverment laws and regulations and a permit process.

      How about addressing the killing of seals, horses and the drug issues and domestic violence in our islands. WE can not blame the visitor for these issues. What are your proposal for these issues? What were you feeling when the hated racism comments were made at the wharf about the visitors, why did you not stop them? Did you watch the video when that young man was being disrespectful to Kupuna Reyes?
      No one wants our island to become OVERDEVELOPED like our sister islands.You have wanna bees who have moved to this island protesting about visitors, they were not born and raised in Hawaii.It is insulting when these people try to speak pidgin, what a joke that is!
      Can you define “OUR People”, does that include the people who donot agree with your groups ideology?
      At school what do you teach your young students, because some of my friends children are fair Hawaiians are harassed at school? What steps are being taking to stop this kind of behavior?
      Your group is worried about the visitors, how about what is happenning right here now in our community? I can not support a group who uses racism as its base and its disrespectful to some of the Kupuna’s here in Molokai.
      Why should the legislature pass any bill that supports racism with our tax dollars?

      • karenpoepoe says:

        Aloha Keikiaina,
        You have so much anger, and that is regrettable. I’m not sure you are finding this island to even be someplace comfortable to live, honestly.
        We can try to fix only the kinds of things that relate to our mission. If the people of Pala’au moku state the shooting of the horses and cows as one of their pilikia, they will deal with it. By the way, some of those cows were ours, which we gave free to Montana (about 15) because our pasture didn’t have enough grass for them. If the seal killing is an priority issue for Kaluako’i moku, then that is what they will address. And we can only go with what the people on this island want…so again, come say what it is you want.
        The 500 + members we have show us that this island is interested in something that this ‘Aha Kiole has to offer, even if you have reservations. And there may be a time soon that you will have an issue that the ‘Aha Kiole can help with. Elections for the Aha Kiole o Moloka’i were posted in each moku 3 years ago, and elections will be coming up again in another year or two. You could do some homework and find out more about the ‘Aha, and maybe you won’t have such an extreme and vitriolic view of our group. Or call me sometime, I would be glad to talk to you and answer any questions you have. I am open to mana’o that is respectful, and I will absolutely show you fairness and respect if you do contact me, its who I am.
        Not everyone is on the same page, and it is my job as po’o alaka’i to try to balance the needs and wants of this community in accordance with our mission to protect the ‘aina. I’ve said all I need to say here, and I think that my statements have given some additional insight into your very explicit opinions which have clearly been created from a very negative place. Others have a different negative place, and they, too, have their reasons for their feelings. You may be surprised at where I, personally, stand and how difficult it is to strike a balance between these negative views. I hope you can find some peace.

        • keikiaina says:

          I am not angry or fustrated.We are not living a hundred years ago and there have been many changes in Hawaii. Our people born and raised in Hawaii have seen many changes in OUR culture and environment. Hawaii is a collective of many cultures today. Sharing our culture and educating people with ALOHA about our Hawaiian culture in positive environment is important to all of us and our diverse cultures. I will show my aloha and educate new people in our community about our Hawaiian culture and its people and its diverse cultures in Molokai and Hawaii.

          • Kalikiano says:

            Well spoken, Keikiaina! E lauhoe mai na wa’a; i ke ka, i ka hoe; i ka hoe, i ke ka; pae aku i ka ‘aina. I mohala no ka lehua i ke ke’ekehi ‘ia e ka ua! Aloha mai e!

      • kalaniua ritte says:

        keikiaina,why dont YOU adress the drug,seal and horse killing issues.do something other than attack people who care and would do anything to protect this island.and if you love the american way so much go live in mainland.
        p.s. that video clip thats shows hano “being disrespectful” to kupuna reyes is fake.the director spliced her picture in over hanos audio.she wasnt even present at that particular protest.look at the world today…being NICE to people who threaten your life style just aint working.you should be able to tell people how you truely feel.

        • keikiaina says:

          In the United States, the Bill of Rights is the term for the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. These amendments explicitly limit the Federal government’s powers, protecting the rights of the people by preventing Congress from abridging freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of religious worship, and the right to bear arms, preventing unreasonable search and seizure, cruel and unusual punishment, and self-incrimination, and guaranteeing due process of law and a speedy public trial with an impartial jury. In addition, the Bill of Rights states that “the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people,” and reserves all powers not specifically granted to the Federal government to the citizenry or States. These amendments came into effect on December 15, 1791, when ratified by three-fourths of the States.

      • Kalikiano says:

        Hui, Keikiaina. As Karenpoepoe notes, there is much frustration and anger in your words and anger is not always a perfect base upon which to build constructive and convincing arguments. Further, and without wishing to be insulting, communism is a very nebulous concept and often confused with ‘state Communism’, socialism, and the ‘Soviet Communist Government’ (all very different from one another). Interestingly enough, the ancient Hawaiian culture was a collectivist culture and not anything remotely resembling American ‘democracy’; it had far more in common with the broadest definition of ‘communism’ (with a small ‘c’) than most realise. American capitalist democracy was, as all should know, a foreign form of government forced upon the Hawaiian monarchy illegitimately and it is therefore in its strictest context most definitely and completely ALIEN to traditional island culture. That said, aside from those who still strongly support a return to Hawaiian autonomy, the majority have accepted and presently abide by the political and social constructs that came from the mainland (this is neither good nor bad, but merely a fact) either through lack of concern or simple convenience.

        Granted that the islands have been in a constant state of major change since the missionaries first set foot on the ‘aina (and minor change well prior to that, due to incidental contacts with outsiders) and that things now are not as they originally were, but I feel you fail to understand that the spirit of collectivism that still thrives and holds on tenaciously on Molokai has room for everyone. No one with true aloha spirit relishes racist hatred, to be sure, but neither should they strongly disrespect others in such broadly generalised and non-specific terms. While it is true that Molokai has more kanaka maoli than almost all the other islands, but it is still an aggregate that contains a wide range of people…even haoles who are not Hawaiian born and who have come here perhaps because they admire and respect the Hawaiian cultural traditions that are so strong on the island. This is NOT jokey stuffs, sistah; it is more often a form of respect (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all).

        There are many, many complicated issues affecting all Molokaiians today that need to be addressed in mutually respectful and congenial circumstances, and the needs of all should be fairly considered (think back to the extremely heated and sometimes violently emotional confrontations that surfaced over Molokai Ranch’s withdrawal, for a good example, or the contention over McAfee’s property on the East End for another). However, that said, my personal opinion is that Molokai needs to continue to effort to remain free of undesirable commercial taint as much possible, without utterly destroying the indigenous local economy. Exactly HOW best to do that is the extremely divisive issue that tears the greater kauhale into bitter shreds. If some form of return to collectivism appears (more or less) in the best interests of everyone, perhaps it is the best thing? One thing is certain: well-intended and respectful debate is a necessary part of any resolution that emerges.

        Meanwhile, I sincerely wish you (and everyone else) the strong mana of aloha and hope that all may overcome their personal bitterness sufficiently to continue to contribute positively and constructively to whatever eventual solution to the island’s difficult problems results.

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