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Preserving Ancestral Lands

Aloha `Oukou. On behalf of our east end families we would like to sincerely thank Councilman Danny Mateo, Mr. Scott Teruya, Ella Alcon and Tina Thompson for coming together to assist and accommodate a meeting between the Maui County Tax Office (Mr. Scott Teruya) and concerned land owners. We were able to have some of our questions and concerns pertaining to land taxes, billing payment plans, land ownership listings and acreage. We talked about Kuleana Land tax exemptions our concerns and conflicts, exemptions for people with a fixed income, home exemptions, Ag dedications and ranching.

People met on a furlough Friday, May 20 at the office of Councilmen Mateo. As Kuleana Land owners we made contact with Mr. Mateo and Ella Alcon and shared our deep concern for our eastend lands. Councilmen Mateo’s office quickly moved into action asking questions and setting up meetings. This was the first step for some of us to protecting our homes and ancestral lands. The importance of this act of aloha is truly worth mentioning. I spoke to some the families who also went to the meeting and they truly shared their sincere gratitude for this meeting. Each family met privately in his office with himself and Mr. Teruya. Some said they hugged Danny twice they were so grateful. Again thanks for this act of kindness. I have also heard of some concerns and hard times on Hawaiian home lands as well. As we were leaving, Councilmen Mateo handed my husband his office number and said if you know anybody who needs help please have them call his office at 553-3888. So, we thought if we wrote this letter we could share this information and help those we can.  Don’t wait get the help you need. Aole hila hila leave embarrassment at home. 

Mililani Hanapi

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