People's Water Conference Focus:
HAWAIIAN HOMELANDS WATER RIGHTS AND STATE WATER CODE
"Hawaiian Homelands reserved Water Rights and the State Water Code" will be the focus of the 9th annual People's Water Conference, set for Saturday, Feb 13, 1993 in Likeke Hall on the grounds of Kawaiahao Church at King and Punchbowl Streets in Honolulu.
"The upcoming conference will bring into focus the pressing issues involving Hawaiian water rights as they affect the implementation of the 1987 Water Code," according to Martha Black, conference chairman.
"As the 100th year observance of the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai'i begins, Hawaiians will be pressing for greater self-governance and a share of the critical resources, like water, to support their future development," says Alan Murakami of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation.
The Hawaiian rights advocate said that state and federal laws "already promise Hawaiians priority for water to support meaningful Hawaiian homestead development, to cultivate taro, and to support traditional gathering rights."
"However," says Murakami, "these laws have not been fully implemented. On the other hand, full implementation of these rights could heavily impact the availability of water resources for other competing developments and agricultural activities."
Black says the conference will explore the range of issues related to this neglected area of water law and management.
She emphasized that the conference intent is to enlighten those interested as well as those who may be affected, so that greater common understanding will result about one of the most critical concerns facing Hawai'i at the dawn of the 21st century.
Among guest speakers in the day-long forum will be Mililani Trask, Kia'aina of Ka Lahui Hawaii; Deputy Attorney General William Tam, a specialist in legal issues involving water; Kate Vandemoer, a hydrologist who works with the rights of native peoples; Williamson Chang, associate professor with the University of Hawai'i School of Law; and Dr. Michael Chum, Native Hawaiian Rights Task Force for the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Other speakers will be Rae Loui, Deputy Director for the Department of Land and Natural (DLNR); Linda Delaney, Office of Hawaiian Affairs; Ben Henderson, Hawaiian Homelands; Charles Ka'ai'ai, homesteaders; Raymond Sato, Kauai' Board of Water Supply manager; Oswald Stender, Bishop Estate; and Colette Machado, Moloka'i Hawaiian rights leader.
The new DLNR Deputy, Rae Loui, is currently holding meetings with community leaders to discuss Hawaiian Homelands issues and the Code.
For more information or registration, contact Martha Black, ph. 95-2127, or Richard Port at ph. 941-9624.