Haena State Park celebration

HAENA — At a celebration to mark the coming reopening of Haena State Park Wednesday, Gov. David Ige signed a bill introduced by state Rep. Nadine K. Nakamura to extend disaster relief funds for areas affected by the 2018 floods.

HB329 HD1 SD2 amends the Kauai flooding disaster relief appropriation made in Act 12, Session Laws of Hawaii 2018. The new bill extends the lapse date of the appropriation to June 30, 2020 and allows funds to be used for mitigation.

“This one-year extension gives the state, the County of Kauai, and the City and County of Honolulu one additional year to continue the important work of rebuilding more resilient communities,” Nakamura said.

The April 2018 rainfall record resulted in flooding that damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes in Hawaii.

Lawmakers later passed legislation to provide $100 million in relief for communities on Kauai, East Oahu and Waimanalo.

On Kauai’s North Shore, the flooding also washed out much of Kuhio Highway, which has since been closed to the general public but is expected to reopen later this month.

On Wednesday, residents, emergency responders, construction workers, and public officials gathered with song and prayer to celebrate the reopening of Haena State Park.

A Haena State Park plan caps the number of visitors to Haena Beach Park to 900 a day and limited parking will be available by online reservation. A shuttle system is expected to ease traffic.

The park is not yet accessible to the public.

Ige thanked the Legislature for what he called the quickest action he’s ever seen in getting funding to a community in need. He also recognized Haena/Wainiha as a model for sustainable tourism.

“Haena is home to the first Community-Based Subsistence Fishing Area in Hawaii, which provides a pathway for community management of ocean resources. Congratulations for being a model for the rest of Hawaii,” he said.

Editor’s note:

This story has been changed to reflect that the celebration was held to mark the coming reopening of Haena State Park.

  1. Uncleaina June 7, 2019 9:44 am Reply

    How is it reopened if it’s not open to the public? It’s just a wide spot in the road anyway. Please tell me we’re not waiting for the ridiculous shuttle to fully open the park.

    1. Chris Gross June 7, 2019 1:05 pm Reply

      Ridiculous? So you want MORE traffic, not less? Oh, OK.

      1. shhh June 7, 2019 7:56 pm Reply

        shut it cris

      2. chris June 10, 2019 12:13 pm Reply

        We should then shutdown the highway at Kealia and at the Wailua bridge, to avoid the Kapa’a crawl… worst traffic on the island. Only let Kapa’a residents in or out, and no cars from the North nor from the South or East are allowed in. They can take a bus to the other side.

  2. Makani B. Howard June 7, 2019 10:38 am Reply

    How is it that you write that the park “reopens”, but is not “open to the public.”

    Is that really open?? What is your definition of the word “open.” bwahahahaha!

  3. Uncleaina June 7, 2019 10:58 am Reply

    I wanted to pop back in and shout from the tallest mountain how this shuttle plan is going to ruin the vibe and the economy of the north shore. Can you imagine the fights between locals and tourists? And locals are RIGHT! Access to the beach is a right and they’re taking it away. Does everyone know that you’re going to need an ONLINE RESERVATION to visit the park our taxes pays for?? What committee-of-people-who’ve-never-planned-anything like this before made these decisions? They’re proposing to make Ke’e harder to visit than Yellowstone or Zion – which are huge national parks that get over 100x more people annually, and are run by educated people who know what they’re doing. Basically our spineless leaders are doing what the rich non-residents who own the houses in Haena want rather than what is pono for all the people who actually LIVE HERE. Sad to see them turn their backs on those of us who need to use those parks for their family and kids and hand the keys to rich people from Santa Barbara. So go ahead- lie to our faces telling us this is the “only way” or somehow this “benefits locals” – because we’ve seen before how you’ll screw us over in the name of the almighty dollar and we know what it looks like. Remember the Superferry? Remember lying then? Because we do.

  4. Major Lee Hung June 7, 2019 11:40 am Reply

    This is almost laughable. Can’t wait to see how this brilliant planning plays out.

  5. Uncleaina June 7, 2019 6:02 pm Reply

    Ok I did more research and found the one sentence from DNLR that makes me feel better- it says that “State of Hawaii residents are not subject to the fees (which I knew) or the reservation system” (which I didn’t know). Not really sure how that’s gonna work – I guess x amount of spots saved for residents? At least they’re saying it doesn’t apply to local people. I’ll be very interested to see how this all plays out, but I stand corrected.

    1. 30 spots June 7, 2019 8:01 pm Reply

      there will be a whopping 30 parking spaces reserved for those who have a hawaii ID…

  6. hanalei4life June 8, 2019 10:06 pm Reply

    We have bin screaming to reduce the impact of the rental car, and stop letting so many tourist into the park. We need to make space so the people who live here, can return to a place that is so special.
    Well, now they reduce capacity in the park from an average of 3000 per day to 900 (2/3 reduction). They are trying to get half of that third (about 400) not to drive and ride a shuttle. There were zero residential parking spots before and now there will be 30. Am I missing something here?
    Sure they are humans and will make a lot of mistakes, but seems like a few huge steps in the right direction.

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