June 20, 2003


Honorable Members

Twenty-Second Legislature

State of Hawaii

Pursuant to Section 16 of Article III of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii, I am returning herewith, without my approval, House Bill No. 1613, entitled "A Bill for an Act Relating to North Kohala."

The purpose of this bill is to encourage the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to renew its efforts to acquire, through land exchanges, lands necessary to provide additional protection of, and public access to, the Kohala Historical Sites State Monument, and to name a specific entity as caretaker for the Mo’okini Heiau.

This bill is unnecessary because the DLNR is already required by Act 166, Session Laws of Hawaii 1992, to acquire such lands. In fact, the DLNR is currently engaged in a number of actions relative to this matter. These have included discussions regarding land exchanges for buffer zones and easements for public access. The DLNR also will be seeking a commitment from the adjoining landowner to refrain from selling potential buffer parcels of land to others while these discussions continue. Finally, the DLNR is planning a community meeting to seek input regarding the care of Mo’okini Heiau.

This bill inappropriately designates a specific entity to serve as caretaker of the Mo’okini Heiau. To ensure fairness and accountability, management decisions such as this one should be made by the DLNR, consistent with established practice and in accordance with all applicable law and administrative rules. In any event, the DLNR will continue to consult with the Kahuna Nui of the Mo’okini Heiau, as required by the deed to the property.

For the foregoing reasons, I am returning House Bill No. 1613 without my approval.





Governor of Hawaii