OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

OHA statement on Water Commission’s decision on East Maui stream standards

Joint OHA Statement from Chair Colette Machado, Maui Trustee Hulu Lindsey and CEO Kamanaʻopono Crabbe On the State Water Commission’s Decision on East Maui Interim Instream Flow Standards

The Native Hawaiian communities of East Maui have fought for 30 years for the restoration of sufficient stream flow to support their kalo farming, subsistence practices, and native stream and coastal marine life, as required under the state constitution and laws.  That the contested case hearing underlying yesterday’s decision has taken nearly two decades to resolve is in many ways an injustice in itself.

While OHA is still fully reviewing the 300-page document issued yesterday, we believe the decision represents a significant step to achieving justice for our East Maui beneficiaries who have sought a fairer distribution of public trust water that has been monopolized by industrial sugar interests for more than a century.

OHA expresses its gratitude to the attorneys of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, who for over a decade have worked tirelessly to vindicate the rights wrongfully denied to our East Maui beneficiaries; to the hearings officer and commission members and staff who have dedicated a substantial amount time and resources to hopefully correct this ongoing injustice; and most of all to our beneficiaries themselves who have sacrificed so much to hold the state and powerful corporate interests accountable to our constitution and to the public trust.

For more information about the struggle in East Maui, visit www.kamakakoi.com/eastmaui or watch the video here:

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