Kauai nonprofit receives Collaborator Award

HAENA — The Kauai nonprofit Hui Maka’ainana o Makana has received a Community Collaborator Award for the decades of work the group has put into preserving Ha’ena.

“This award identifies the bright spots in our community that have their head up, looking for other partners to magnify their mission and impact in ways that are pono – right for their communities,” said Lisa Maruyama, executive director of The Hawaii Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations.

Hui Maka’ainana o Makana has worked with both state and county entities, as well as community partners and private individuals, to help upkeep Ha’ena State Park after it was created in the late 1970’s, according to Presley Wann, president of the entity.

“They (the state) didn’t have the resources to achieve what they wanted to and the Hui, on the other side, we were able to help by volunteering time,” Wann said.

In the past five years alone, he explained, the Hui has averaged about 6,000 hours in volunteer labor annually and has garnered many donations to help out Ha’ena State Park. In terms of impact, Wann estimates the Hui has helped out with around $250,000 annually in labor and other expenses.

Along the way, the Hui was able to help create the Ha’ena Community Based Subsistence Fishing Area, which was signed into law by Gov. David Ige in 2015.

The CBSFA allows the community to have a role in managing the fishery, upon which many community members are dependent.

Wann accepted the award on behalf of the entity and said he was honored to be part of the creation process for the Ha’ena CBSFA.

“Go to the end of the road on the north end of Kauai today, it’s beautiful what they’ve accomplished,” said Kevin Chang, executive director of Kua’aina Ulu Auamo, who presented the award Friday.

Wann said the work that’s been achieved at Ha’ena is a good example of collaboration.

“We both had goals and the goal was to restore that place,” Wann said. “We were able to help out the state in that way and a partnership formed. It’s about the community and the state helping each other.”

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