Danner arrested

  • Allan Parachini / Special to The Garden Island

    Robin Danner is arrested Wednesday in Anahola.

  • Allan Parachini / Special to The Garden Island

    Law officers begin clearing an encampment in Anahola.

  • Allan Parachini / Special to The Garden Island

    State Department of Hawaiian Home Lands enforcement officers and Kauai Police Department officers warn citizens not to interfere with their ongoing action.

  • Allan Parachini / Special to The Garden Island

    Robin Danner and her son, Garrett, are arrested in Anahola on Wednesday.

  • Allan Parachini / The Garden Island

    Law enforcement officers begin clearing an encampment in Anahola.

ANAHOLA — Prominent Native Hawaiian activist Robin Danner and her son were arrested Wednesday during a confrontation with state Department of Hawaiian Home Land enforcement officers and officers of the Kauai Police Department over a disputed campsite near Anahola Beach Park.

Danner, 55, and her son, Garrett, 34, were booked at KPD headquarters on trespassing and government obstruction charges for allegedly interfering with a DHHL raid on an encampment linked to an ongoing dispute between the agency and the Anahola Hawaiian Homestead Association.

The controversy centers on the encampment and a Neighborhood Watch platform constructed about a quarter mile away at the organization’s Kumu Camp facility.

The dispute boiled over on Sept. 21 when DHHL personnel — also assisted by KPD — issued a citation saying the platform had been constructed illegally. The agency also contended that the encampment raided on Wednesday and occupied by a man described as a volunteer caretaker with ties to the homestead association amounted to trespassing on DHHL property.

Wednesday’s raid involved five KPD patrol units and between 10 and 12 officers, though no supervisor was dispatched. It was not clear how much KPD supervisors knew about the raid in advance and why so many officers were sent, whether they were on overtime or whether normal KPD patrol resources were stripped from the island to allow the raid to occur. Also present were four men who identified themselves as DHHL “enforcement officers,” based on Oahu.

The occupant of the alleged illegal encampment, Keikilani Pa, was present during the confrontation on Wednesday but was not arrested. However, a large volume of what appeared to be Pa’s property was removed from his campsite and loaded onto a truck by DHHL-contracted earthmoving equipment or piled at the roadside for later disposal.

Pa was described by Danner as a “steward” who takes care of part of an oceanfront tract that includes Kumu Camp, as well as beaches all the way to a stream that fronts Anahola Beach Park. Danner said Pa was authorized to be there. DHHL, Danner contended in an interview after her release, operates as “an enforcement agency with no training.”

“This was political payback,” she charged. “It was punishment for not going along to get along. I am an example of every other Hawaiian who they are looking at as compliant cattle.”

In cellphone video recorded at the incident, DHHL personnel can be heard to say that property confiscated at the scene would be held for 30 days, but they did not respond to requests for clarification about what would happen to it then.

The same cellphone video, recorded by Garrett Danner, also depicted a brief moment of tension when Pa put on a backpack that apparently contained two machetes. It was not clear if he remembered the items were in the pack. DHHL personnel can be heard calling KPD attention to what appeared to be weapons. KPD officers immediately ordered first Pa, then Danner — who had taken the machetes from the pack to lay them on the ground — to release control. As officers issued the order, one KPD officer could be seen briefly unholstering what appeared to be a Taser.

KPD released a statement late Wednesday that said: “DHHL officials conducted an operation today to evict an unauthorized occupant on state property, and Kauai police were asked to stand by and assist if necessary. As the DHHL contractors were removing the individual’s personal items, two Anahola residents came onto the property and refused to leave despite multiple warnings. They were both subsequently arrested by police.”

DHHL released a statement attributed to its deputy director, William J. Aila Jr., saying: “On Wednesday, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands removed an illegal structure occupying an area adjacent to Anahola Beach Park on Kauai. Mr. Pa had been given written notice to vacate the premises by the DHHL and was also issued a trespassing notice by the Kauai Police Department (KPD) in the weeks leading up to today’s removal.

“Mr. Pa simply did not have permission to occupy that space. It’s important to remember that the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has a trust responsibility to preserve open spaces like this for all beneficiaries.”

The Danners were released on $100 bail each a couple of hours after they were arrested. Robin Danner said she was told she had a court date that conflicts with an appearance she is scheduled to make at a national conference on access to capital by Native Hawaiian beneficiaries. She spends much of her time traveling — often to federal government and other events all over the country.

The controversy is related to formation by AHHA of the Anahola Neighborhood Security Watch, a project organized by Robin Danner to counter drug dealing and other alleged illegal activities along a stretch of beach that runs from Kumu Camp to Anahola Beach Park.

A tax map showing the boundaries of Kumu Camp, for which Danner’s organization has legal right of occupancy, appears to show that the property extends to the Olokauha Stream, which abuts Anahola Beach Park. The area subject to the Wednesday raid appears to be included in the TMK that defines the Kumu Camp property. It was not clear why DHHL believed an authorized occupant of Kumu Camp grounds would be trespassing.

On Oct. 3, Kauai County Council Chair Mel Rapozo wrote to DHHL Director Jobie Masagatani that Danner’s neighborhood watch group members “are committed to creating a safer community for their children.”

Wednesday’s raid apparently occurred without warning, after DHHL received Rapozo’s letter and also after Danner’s group filed a lengthy Sept. 30 response to DHHL’s citation and other enforcement activities. Copies of Rapozo’s letter and the Danner response were obtained by TGI.

Rapozo, who is actively campaigning in the mayoral election, did not respond to an emailed request for comment. There is no record that DHHL responded to either Rapozo or the letter from the Homestead Community Development Corp., which Robin Danner also heads.

Shortly before she was taken into custody, Danner accused DHHL enforcement personnel of acting illegally and standing in the way of her organization’s efforts “to provide homes to DHHL beneficiaries.” She accused DHHL personnel of threatening her with arrest because she swore at them.

“I can swear any amount I want,” she said. “I am not going to be emotionally and physically abused by my own government.”

Shortly after her release, an enraged Danner contended that the incident represented a “concentration camp mentality” on the part of DHHL.

“They treated us as if we are cattle,” she said, quipping that DHHL might actually stand for “Department of Hawaiian Harassment on our Lands.”


Allan Parachini is a retired public relations executive and Kilauea resident who writes periodically for The Garden Island.

Editor’s note: This story has been edited to correct that Mel Rapozo wrote a letter to DHHL and did not file a protest. He also received one request for comment. The story indicated he received more than one.

  1. Mel Rapozo October 18, 2018 1:34 am Reply

    My October 3rd letter to DHHL was not even close to being a formal protest. I’m not sure where that came from. This is what my letter said, “My office is working with the Anahola Hawaiian Homestead Association (AHHA) to support community-based initiatives in the homestead area of Anahola.
    I am writing to your State agency to share the partnership between my office, the County of Kaua‘i, Office of the Mayor, and an AHHA project called the Anahola Neighborhood Security Watch (ANSW). After discussions and meetings with young adults from the region, they are committed to creating a safer community for their children.” I never once mentioned anything about a citation or any dispute. Also, I didn’t respond to Allan’s email because I was busy in a Council meeting yesterday, not because I was actively campaigning. Thank you for allowing me to clarify a very clear misstatement.

    1. Debra Kekaualua October 18, 2018 1:51 pm Reply

      No votes for me were necessary. Praying that the Kauaians have been paying attention, let us start with fakestate militarocorporate takeover!

    2. LMat October 18, 2018 2:35 pm Reply

      Just wondering, if copies of the letter “was obtained by TGI”, how did this “miss-statement” make it to print? Shoddy editing, or intentional sensationalism…? Also, reading through the article, idk, I get the impression of a little personal bias leaking in from the author, however subtle. No thanks TGI.

    3. Michael Mann May 15, 2020 11:56 am Reply

      I’ve read this multiple times, and I don’t see where they stated that the Oct. 3 letter was a “formal protest” nor that they claimed they hadn’t received a response BECAUSE an active campaign was underway. Moreover, the bit they quote from the letter appears to be VERBATIM what was stated in the letter!


      Why do people do this?

      “On Oct. 3, Kauai County Council Chair Mel Rapozo wrote to DHHL Director Jobie Masagatani that Danner’s neighborhood watch group members “are committed to creating a safer community for their children.”

      Wednesday’s raid apparently occurred without warning, after DHHL received Rapozo’s letter and also after Danner’s group filed a lengthy Sept. 30 response to DHHL’s citation and other enforcement activities. Copies of Rapozo’s letter and the Danner response were obtained by TGI.

      Rapozo, who is actively campaigning in the mayoral election, did not respond to an emailed request for comment. There is no record that DHHL responded to either Rapozo or the letter from the Homestead Community Development Corp., which Robin Danner also heads.”

      1. Joe Public February 1, 2021 6:34 pm Reply

        If this is related to the State, why didn’t DLNR and the Sheriff Office used instead of spending more County assets? Again the Kauai tax payers have to pay for the States lack of support. County should just refuse and let the State use their resources

  2. Imua44 October 18, 2018 7:31 am Reply

    Santuary now. The activities at Kumu Camp may be in conflict with law. Some in Anahola feel left out of the relatively new regime of Ms Danner. It is wrong to send an army of officers . This should have been done quietly. This is another example of preferential enforcement. There are many illegal TVRs that have been red tagged and are in clear violation. No raids on these, none. No raid on hundreds of blatant illegal structures on the island. Preferential enforcement is wrong. Besides Kumu Camp has always been known to have a real spiritual presence. Do not go there at Halloween, there is a presence. Ask anyone from Anahola. Spooky kine. Hawaii is declared a Santuary State, if these folks were from from Mexico, no arrest would be made. Santuary. The arrested may be Hawaiian kingdom, why not Sanctuary for them? Hypocrisy. All of Hawaii leaders are in favor of Santuary, unless you are kanaka. Santuary now.

    Sent from Samsung tablet

  3. debra kekaualua October 18, 2018 8:47 am Reply

    Finally! Mr. Rapozo should have also been arrested as they all, for a decade or more, have completely changed anahola landscape. DHHL Aila and the rest shouldve also been arrested, because they have supported Danner corporates and nonprofit corporates that does not include kanaka maoli, only THEIR hui o crackerheads.

  4. localgirl October 18, 2018 1:51 pm Reply

    Looks like Allan Parachini and TGI took the bait once again! Another incorrect article based on one person’s perspective and not enough FACTS! It’s interesting that Alan knew to be at the right place at the right time but did not bother to interview anyone from DHHL.

  5. Joe Public October 18, 2018 2:11 pm Reply

    Why didn’t DHHL get the support of DNLR Officers? State agencies don’t support each other? Have to rely on the County?

    Good that they are trying to clear that area out.

  6. Knowitall October 18, 2018 3:12 pm Reply

    Neighborhood watch platform. . . lol come on! I do agree plenty haoles building illegally with no enforcement!

  7. rk669 October 18, 2018 3:39 pm Reply

    Fake News?

  8. kaimipono October 18, 2018 9:53 pm Reply

    mahalo to DHHL for finally taking a stand on getting robin danner and her money making, community dividing, ill-planned, illegal operations off the beach and hopefully out of our community. her supposed service to Hawaiians is a blight on our community in anahola. She thinks that because she is connected in america and Washington DC and gets money from uncle SAM she can milk our aina for weddings and glamping….for mostly HAOLES. Her “community ” projects do more harm than good, and she ALWAYS has a hidden agenda. she’s not a hawaiian activist shes as americian as they come( she wants to sacrifice our hawaiian born national sovereignty for a state within America WTF! ) . Only a small minority on anahola supports her and the rest of us cant figure out why…. but most of us think is has to do with $$$$$$ because robin worships at the altar of the Americian DOLLA!!!! she is about as hawaiian as SPAM

    1. kalani April 22, 2021 5:25 pm Reply

      I cannot find her birth in Kauai. They are bringing in Indians to play Hawaiian. She was raised in Hopi Navaho Arizona and spent her life advocating for indians. Now she is on the board to make a list of Hawaiians which spent 33 billion dollars=fake arrest to gain credibility. She is NOT kanaka Maoli, what family is she from???? And she wants hawaiians as Indians now I call BS

  9. kaimipono October 18, 2018 10:41 pm Reply

    its about time DHHL made the move on that illigal camp. mahalo to Dhhl for trying to open that place up to the WHOLE community. It should be a park. Not a glamping place for tourist and weddings. And since when is RD a hawaiian activist? almost nobody in anahola wants kumu camp there. we had meetings with DHHL and a walk through tour for the community over a year ago and the majority of the community didnt want the camp in the community. It should be a park open to All kanaka

  10. Kootz October 19, 2018 12:23 am Reply

    It is unbelievably inaccurate to describe Robin Danner as a “prominent native Hawaiian activist.” She is the exact opposite! She does not mālama the Anahola community, she is selfish with her funds, & majority of us Anahola natives disagree with her business at Kumu Camp (being illegal obstructions on a beach) & “Anahola Marketplace” (being a long time failure). She is a shameful Hawaiian who threatens the youth of Anahola “swear[ing] any amount [she] want.” Very disappointing article. Robin Danner does not deserve praise whatsoever for her disrespectful actions to the people of Kaua’i & Kaua’i law officials. Shame on her & her son.

  11. H Charles October 19, 2018 2:14 am Reply

    What a joke, Robin Danner is NOT a “prominant Hawaiian activist” and anyone who knows anything about Hawaiian activism knows that. Walter Ritte of Moloka’i and The Trask Sisters of Oahu are prominant, just to name a few. This writer, a newcomer to Kauai, was seeking sensationalism and cannot see any other perspective outside of his own very small fund of knowledge about our island of Kauai.

  12. prospeech October 19, 2018 9:51 am Reply

    I agree LMat. The GI newspaper and news in general is no longer truthful with facts and evidence to support it. Its more like rants, personal opinion and agenda. The intentions are completely revealed by the author here. Their are always more sides to the story, than that of which was provided here. Shame.

  13. Debra Kekaualua October 19, 2018 2:11 pm Reply

    mAhalo to all the commentators. Here i thought I was the only one that had thoughts like yours about the TGI clan not from here OR robin danner who i have diligently followed around for a decade in front oha dhhl asking them WHO is this alaskan tribal wannabe. Seems like all THOSE meetings, i was the only one keeping tabs on RD. I told you all so, but NOOOOOooo, money talks and you know the rest. TGI needs new seeds, truth integrity, the truth the whole truth, not folly, staged or cover ups, like “last phone call made” or “suicide” contracted that is not mentioned.

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  15. Mo Mi October 24, 2018 12:42 am Reply

    After her involvement in the stunt of U.S. Federal Tribal Recognition she was trying to pull on Hawaiian Nationals, I’m very happy she was arrested however now that I read the article, it looks like a total publicity stunt. Either way, I hope the Anahola community is freed of this nuisance. We shut her energy, microwave, biofuel money making venture. Many are still disturbed by her corporation CNHA and her fake “Sovereign Council.” She is a nutcase. Throw her in jail for international war crimes. Aloha from Moku O Keawe

  16. Odessa November 29, 2018 4:50 am Reply

    Living in Anahola, I can say that the Kumu Camp is not serving the land or the community & I hope it gets closed down because it only is taking away from the sacred aina of Anahola rather then adding anything positive to it, just more foreign tourists & campers which Anahola Is meant to be reserved & preserved for Hawaiiana, not money making schemes that pollute the environment

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