Developer challenged while removing occupiers’ belongings

  • Bethany Freudenthal / The Garden Island

    Mahealani Hanie-Grace shakes hands with one of the workers tasked with clearing the land she and her family along with a group of supporters occupied for two years. The group was ejected from the property in late February after state District Court Judge Michael Soong ruled in favor of development company Coco Palms Hui.

  • Bethany Freudenthal / The Garden Island

    Alan Kekoa Hoffman, center, confronts developer Chad Waters, right, and a worker Friday at the Coco Palms property as buildings and personal belongings of recent occupiers were cleared.

  • Bethany Freudenthal / The Garden Island

    Mahealani Hanie-Grace protests what she called the destruction of her family’s hale Friday in Wailua.

  • Bethany Freudenthal / The Garden Island

    A bulldozer is seen clearing what remains of Chuck and Jessica Hanie’s hale on the Coco Palms site Friday.

WAILUA — An effort by developers to remove the remains of property belonging to recent occupiers of Coco Palms turned into a brief confrontation Friday morning.

Chad Waters of Coco Palms Hui LLC said they started to clean up the part of the property which was occupied by people claiming ownership through their ancestry before they were ordered off it by a judge.

“So far, we have removed two, 20-yard containers of rubbish with a few more to go,” he said. “A few of the previous occupants showed up to harass the crew that was working today (Friday). Otherwise the cleanup is going well and we should complete it in the next day or two.”

Throughout the morning, several supporters of the occupiers came and went at the property, including Mahealani Hanie-Grace, who was the only person arrested and charged with criminal trespassing during the enforcement of the ejectment ruling Feb 22.

Standing on a rock just outside the property, Hanie-Grace confronted those she said were destroying her family’s hale, their crops and other structures left by occupiers who lived there more than a year.

“That’s all illegal action, busting up our hale, all desecration, nothing, nothing wrong, your lo’i, plant kalo, what we doing?” she yelled. “Nothing. What Chad Waters doing? Hewa oi. Hewa oi. Hewa loa oi Chad Waters.”

Another supporter, Alan Kekoa Hoffman, was threatened with arrest when he refused to leave.

“If he wants to get arrested he can be here or he can be out there,” Waters said during a confrontation with Hoffman.

“You know what is pono, you know what is right, you have to do what is pono,” Hoffman told the workers. “I love all of you guys. I love all of you.”

The confrontation continued into mid-morning until two Kauai Police Department officers and one of the claimants of the land, Noa Mau-Espirito, arrived.

“I wouldn’t attack him,” Hoffman said. “I love him, but what you guys doing is hewa.”

Mau-Espirito told his supporters to be respectful of the uncles who were tasked with cleaning up the property.

“Really, the one who’s responsible for this is Tyler Greene (and) Chad. Let’s not forget who the main corporate enemy is, the County of Kauai, the State of Hawaii, Coco Palms Hui LLC, Tyler Greene and Chad Waters. Not uncle guys over here. I call them my own, you guys.”

Turning to those working on the cleanup, Mau-Espirito said he understood they had to feed their families. His beef isn’t with them, but with the system.

“Just understand the laws go both ways but for some reason they only recognize the laws for the haole, not us,” Mau-Espirito said.

“Right now we’re in a dog-eat-dog world. These people need to feed their families. I understand. Let’s not waste our energy on people who are not the problem,” Mau-Espirito said.

After the situation calmed down, the protesters and uncles shook hands and apologized to one another.

In a statement to TGI, Mau-Espirito said his group will be nice and let the Hawaiian families cleaning up the property do their jobs, before they move back in.

Coco Palms Hui has plans to restore the Coco Palms Resort, which was damaged by Hurricane Iniki in 1992 and has since sat shuttered. Their project calls for a $175 million, 350-room resort.

Kamu “Charles” Hepa, who claims the land through family lineage, said the frustration he’s feeling is deeper than what’s happening at Coco Palms. It’s about what he called the robbing of an ancient culture and it’s not just happening on Kauai, it’s happening throughout the islands and across the nation.

“Right now the people of Hawaii, the native indigenous people and the Hawaiians by heart are very upset, they’re very mad. It’s way too long over 128 years of illegal slavery and discrimination,” Hepa said.

The Hawaiian people, he said, are holding on by a thin line on aloha.

“It’s a company bought name now,” he said.

Within the Kanaka Maoli and indigenous communities, Hepa said there’s solidarity.

“It’s with the indigenous people the native people and the Hawaiians by heart. We’re all on the same crew and we’re all upset about everything. This is pressure being built up over 130 years and right now the people, like I said have had enough,” he said.

His greatest fear, he said, is a civil war, which is something he said he doesn’t want to happen, but he doesn’t see any other solution.

“Right now it’s to the breaking point of a civil war and Hawaii can see it,” Hepa said. “It’s building. This is building up big time and we’re at the peak, that fine line, that thread line of it,” he said, “and it’s sad, but it’s going to happen.”

  1. james March 17, 2018 7:34 am Reply

    “Just understand the laws go both ways but for some reason they only recognize the laws for the haole, not us,” Mau-Espirito said. What about Asian-Americans who have lived here for 8 generations? Same with Filipino and Portuguese families or anyone else who have strong roots on the Island. Which laws should apply to them? What about someone with Caucasian, Asian, Polynesian, Hawaiian and African ancestry mixed together? We are one people, Americans. One law applies to us all or we have chaos. Work within the current laws of the State and US and make changes the right way if that’s your goal. Don’t be divisive. We have enough of that coming from the White House.

    1. Daku March 17, 2018 6:35 pm Reply

      “What about Asian-Americans who have lived here for 8 generations? Same with Filipino and Portuguese families or anyone else who have strong roots on the Island. Which laws should apply to them? What about someone with Caucasian, Asian, Polynesian, Hawaiian and African ancestry mixed together?”

      Kamu already answered your question. Please take note that he included “Hawaiians by heart.”

  2. manawai March 17, 2018 7:43 am Reply


  3. Uncleaina March 17, 2018 10:49 am Reply

    Same ol same ol from Bethany: 80% of the story is told from the viewpoint of the people who have been found guilty of camping illegally on this property. By this point we’ve literally heard from each individual person who squatted down there. It’s called lazy reporting. Please use Alan for this story because at least with him you get actual information rather than propaganda from a handful of homeless people.

    1. Lblab March 18, 2018 8:04 am Reply

      She is one of those modern day journalist. who love to spread rumors instead of facts. is she even out of high school? i’m glad i’m not a regular subscriber. to be forced to read this article.

  4. kauaidog March 17, 2018 11:17 am Reply

    I noticed new camping out at the top of the hill where the Wailua overlook is??

  5. Debra Kekaualua March 17, 2018 2:09 pm Reply

    TGI thankfully now have EXcellent coverages of the, is what it is Facts, and a lot of Lahui who are prepared to bring it full circle. Hulimakaflip. We actually have acquired magnanimous supportive Group connections with Washington DC, actively involved with the charade that resembles our county state green waters, having breakfast dates, playing themselves into jail cells while we have proven there is no american justice in courtrooms, no jurisdiction, no such word as title or tax map key and much much more. stand-by. WE are claiming.

  6. rellik March 17, 2018 3:33 pm Reply

    This talk of “civil war”
    Number one, there nothing civil about war,
    and Hawaiians would be obliterated.
    They are facing people that have fun waging war.
    Americans, Europeans and Japanese.

  7. Megeso March 17, 2018 5:18 pm Reply

    Why no mention of Chad Waters, Tyler Green & Coco Palms Hui, LLC federal violation of the Endangered Species Act. An act that every county, state & Federal official swore an oath to protect. Jail time and fines. Bias reporting for the illegal contractor is what I see.

  8. MisterM March 17, 2018 9:11 pm Reply

    Time for Federal indictments and jailing of these unemployed grifters on the mainland.

  9. Amelia Gora March 19, 2018 5:47 am Reply

    Legal Notice dated March 19, 2018

    Greetings to all concerned,

    There are six (6) issues in all of this:

    (1) Personal Properties of our Royal Families who have paramount titles are being entered upon by those who do not have Alodio/Alodial titles.

    (2) Hepa by claiming to perform some Civil War violence is not acceptable and our Royal Families will not support such actions.

    (3) Hepa et. als. will have to show their ties to the Kamehameha’s, or the Royal Families before obtaining support from us and maintain non-violence because since the time of Kamehameha III – Kauikeaouli we have maintained a neutral, non-violent status…..even Queen Liliuokalani has maintained that status.

    (4) Protective Orders is hereby rescinded immediately for all those claiming to move towards a “Civil War”.

    (5) Our prima facie evidence of ownership will be submitted for the records, and Coco Palms corporation will have to pay rents and leases to our Royal Families who owns the Paramount titles.

    (6) The court of original jurisdiction, the Kingdom of Hawaii courts will be adjudicating the case soon based on trespassing of non-owners, Coco Palms who do Not have Alodio titles because their status is “Aliens” and “Aliens” can not own Alodio lands, etc.

    Amelia Gora, a Royal person, Acting Liaison of Foreign Affairs, House of Nobles, Hawaiian Kingdom/ Kingdom of Hawaii

  10. PAUL March 19, 2018 8:26 am Reply

    What would King Kaumuali’i have said?

    “Get them off my land (it was ALL his), and use them as Tiger Shark bait!”

  11. Karen March 19, 2018 3:11 pm Reply

    Ok so they clearing out coco palms but what’s going on uphill by Wailua River lookout? Tents and flags and lots of cars. I take family and friends down that toad to see the petroglyphs. Why they there?

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