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DLNR NEWS RELEASE: Molasses spill settlement funds Aha Moku system for another year

Posted on Jun 23, 2016 in Latest Department News


(HONOLULU) – The Department of the Attorney General (the “Attorney General”) is helping to ensure the continuation of the Aha Moku system, which represents native Hawaiian interests in all of the main Hawaiian Island’s 46 moku (land divisions) and 606 ahupua‘a (smaller land districts). In recognizing the enormous damage done to commercial enterprises, environmental organizations and particularly to the Native Hawaiian community by the 2013 molasses spill, the Attorney General agreed to use some of the spill settlement funding to support Aha Moku for the next fiscal year.

Leslie Kuloloio, Chair of the Aha Moku Advisory Committee said, “The spill dealt a critical blow to the cultural history of Kaka‘ako and the Kuloloia Seas and the Attorney General recognized this and provided funding for our operations and administration in 2015.” The Aha Moku office, which operates out of the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources was scheduled to close several days after funding from the Attorney General was announced. “We are grateful to the Attorney General and Governor Ige’s administration for their compelling belief that the protection and preservation of Hawai‘i’s natural and cultural resources are linked to the indigenous and generational knowledge of the host culture,” Kuloloio added.

Today the Aha Moku Advisory Committee passed a resolution to formally recognize the Legislature and the Administration for “the support of the Legislature in passing Act 288 and the Attorney General and the Governor in helping to provide funding in an effort to keep the Aha Moku alive as a unique vehicle for gathering and preserving “grass roots” input on resource conservation, management, and protection as well as for their belief in the Aha Moku process.

In passing Act 288, in 2012, the Legislature formally recognized the Aha Moku System as an ancient land tenure system brought forward from the 9th century through translations of Native Hawaiian oral history and ancient chants. These focused on the sustainability of natural and cultural resources for all residents of Hawaii Nei, as stakeholders in the protection of natural and cultural assets. Further the measure recognized the benefits of generational knowledge and traditional resource methodology for ahupua‘a districts.

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HD video of reading of the resolution:


Photographs of Aha Moku Advisory Committee meeting:


Media Contact:

Dan Dennison

Senior Communications Manager

Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources

Office of the Chairperson

1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 131

Honolulu, HI 96813

(808) 587-0407

[email protected]