S.C.R. NO.














requesting that the department of land and natural resources and other state agencies recognize the importance and assist in the preservation of the nuuanu auwai system.



     WHEREAS, ancient Hawaiian tradition held fresh water as a treasure from the gods, with each person using that gift along the way having a duty to the person below to preserve it for use by others; and


     WHEREAS, the waters of Nuuanu start at its highest point in the Koolau mountains with the waterfalls of Waipuhia and Waipuilani feeding the streams of Nuuanu, Moole, and Waolani; and


     WHEREAS, ancient Hawaiian inhabitants of Nuuanu Valley developed an auwai or water ditch system to take the waters from the three streams and distribute the waters to irrigate extensive loi ai or taro fields that were present throughout the entire valley, from its upper reaches down to makai of the present Judd Street; and


     WHEREAS, after damage to the auwai system during the Battle of Nuuanu, Kamehameha moved to quickly restore the valley's agricultural production, summoning Kuhooheiheipahu Paki to rebuild the irrigation system; and


     WHEREAS, "in three days[, Paki] rallied several hundred men to construct the tremendous [Nuuanu] irrigation system which supplies the numerous taro pondfields . . . .  This irrigation system is known even today as the Paki auwai"; and


     WHEREAS, as Nuuanu evolved from an extensive agricultural area into a residential area, many residents did not realize the existence of or care about the ancient auwai system traversing the valley, and in many instances, parts of the Nuuanu auwai system were purposely closed, diverted, or covered up; as a result, out of fourteen original auwai, there are only about eight that remain either flowing or reparable; and


     WHEREAS, the Nuuanu Valley Auwai Study Group is doing its best to spread information on the historic origins of the Nuuanu auwai system and is attempting to educate property owners on the value of ways of preserving this treasure; and


     WHEREAS, the Hawaii Historic Foundation, together with the State Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, has named the auwai of Nuuanu Valley as one of the nine most endangered historic places on its 2008 list, The 9 Most Endangered Historic Sites in Hawaii; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-fifth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2009, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Department of Land and Natural Resources and all other state agencies are requested to do everything in their respective areas of responsibility to protect and preserve the auwai of Nuuanu Valley; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, the Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, the Historic Hawaii Foundation, and the Nuuanu Valley Auwai Study Group.









Report Title: 

Nuuanu Valley Auwai; Preservation; DLNR and other state agencies