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Trespassing bride and groom

  • Contributed

    A wedding party takes place at Black Pot Beach Park earlier this month, while the park was still closed for reconstruction.

HANALEI — Just as the sun was rising on the first day in June, a wedding planner allegedly held a private and pretty ceremony at Hanalei’s Black Pot Beach Park.

Guests filtered down Weke Road and parked their rental cars in the new county lot. They had the picturesque beach to themselves.

That’s because they were trespassing.

Though the ceremony is over and the cars all gone, photos of the affair linger on the Internet, sending out a bat signal to others planning ceremonies and triggering anger among some residents.

Authorities are following up, not only on the alleged trespassing — the party and guests entered through the closed Weke Road and onto the beach park to get to the sand — but also because the allegedly wedding wasn’t permitted or authorized.

Weke Road and Black Pot Beach Park have been closed since the April 2018 flood to allow for repairs and reconstruction of the area.

“Aside from multiple press releases, news articles and community meetings to publicly announce the ongoing closure of this area, large barricades and multiple signs are placed along the roadway to make it clear that access is prohibited,” said county spokeswoman Sarah Blane.

Those barriers were moved to allow for vehicles to pass through.

To be legal, beach weddings require a state permit secured by someone with insurance — usually the wedding planner or officiant. You can’t have more than 30 people at a beach ceremony, consume alcohol, or have chairs or an archway. Loudspeakers aren’t allowed.

Wedding parties also can’t trespass on public, county or private property.

“I believe this reported incident struck a chord with our community because everyone is eager to return to this special place on our island, so for those who have been patiently following the rules and regulations it was seen as a sign of disrespect,” Blane said.

It’s not the only place where people are trespassing to get that perfect picture.

Lyndsey Haraguchi-Nakayama, who operates the multi-generational Hanalei Taro Farm with her family, says she’s chasing trespassing tourists out of her taro fields daily.

She also has problems with people flying drones in the no-fly zone above their property.

“We’re still salvaging artifacts from the rice mill and replanting taro that got destroyed by the flood. I have two buildings collapsing,” Haraguchi said.

“We have to stop working in the fields and doing recovery on a daily basis, interrupted by trespassers.”

Recently, she says, a wedding party of about 20 people went by six “No Trespassing” signs to get into the middle of their taro fields for wedding photos. Some of those signs were posted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as the farm is home and nesting area to endangered birds.

“My dad, he went over there and said ‘you guys are trespassing,’ explained we were trying to recover from the floods. One of the guys came up behind my dad and elbowed him when he was walking away. That’s assault,” Haraguchi-Nakayama said. “One: they don’t have the right to be there, and two: I don’t want our children to be exposed to that.”

Wedding and photography professionals on Kauai who are following the rules are just as frustrated.

“Our community is sick of people moving here to make money off of our home with no regard to laws or place,” one person said on the social media post that showed the June 1 Black Pot Beach Park wedding.

It’s not contained to beach weddings, either, or just pictures. Professional photos are floating around online with subjects at off-limits places like the bottom of Wailua Falls or commercial shots used for promotion that were taken in state parks, which require permits for commercial photos.

The Hawaii Film Office requires permits for flying drones or taking professional photos at state beaches and parks, trails, in forest reserves, small boat harbors and waters.

Film and photos for personal use, or which takes place on private property, doesn’t require a state film permit.

Drones and commercial shoots in Waimea Canyon require those permits.

There are legal ways to get amazing photographs, have that epic wedding or explore Kauai’s wild places, and showing that respect is what Kauai is requesting of those who live on and visit the island.

“There is a way for people to come and visit respectfully,” Haraguchi-Nakayama said. “Please be respectful of families in our community.”

•••

Jessica Else, environment reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or jelse@thegardenisland.com.

17 Comments
  1. Wally Robert June 10, 2019 2:31 am Reply

    People like that don’t care about rules or regulations. The country is full of them.


  2. arbitrary June 10, 2019 7:05 am Reply

    i wanted to get “angsty” about the whole trespassing issue which is 100% wrong, period, but huffing and puffing of this article about licenses and regulations and permits for the most simple things such as photos actually makes me want to break the rules, not follow them.


  3. Knowitall June 10, 2019 7:52 am Reply

    These photographers seriously trying to blame people that are “moving in” lol
    Guaranteed these wedding planners and photographers are locals


  4. Kauaidoug June 10, 2019 7:59 am Reply

    Whoever was the wedding planner should be public. There are travel bloggers who are constantly promoting Kaua’i and the unsafe fun places for people to go while visiting our island. Somehow this internet assault needs to be regulated or deterred. Easily done from a desk


  5. Sue June 10, 2019 8:39 am Reply

    These people are fools, and should be fined! The wedding planner on down to the bride and groom should pay!! Don’t let them get away with this!!!


  6. Ka'aona Kipuka June 10, 2019 9:05 am Reply

    Typical White Privilege at its best. The rules don’t apply do them because they spend a lot of money to get over here. So Carte Blanche is in full effect… Absolute disrespect and ignorance…But now I’m a racist for calling them out. Just because I call stuff as I see it…


  7. Major Lee Hung June 10, 2019 9:17 am Reply

    Clearly what needs to happen is a total ban on all haoles from the island. They lie, cheat, steal and trespass.


    1. wailua guy June 10, 2019 7:12 pm Reply

      you and that burnout who parks his hate-speech-trailer on the corner in wailua should hang out!


      1. Kaaona Kipuka June 10, 2019 11:14 pm Reply

        Why? Because he speaks the truth. Last time I checked isn’t he entitled to his opinion???


        1. GENIUS June 11, 2019 7:31 pm Reply

          which one is it, truth or opinion?


  8. Dt June 10, 2019 12:53 pm Reply

    Kind of contradicting about this article and the next one, stating that black pot beach is closed due to fencing and not having a backflow preventer. Why should it remain closed due to lack of a backflow peventer, there are no bathrooms. I agree with one of the previous commenters, the whole thing since the storm has been a big boondoggle.


  9. Sara Li June 10, 2019 1:02 pm Reply

    Haoles? Are you effing kidding me? Locals get away with this kind of stuff all the time. Local, Hawaiian, tourist, it doesn’t matter where your’e from or what color you are. If you don’t have respect, you won’t follow the rules. Anahola was outrageous the other night. Partying till 4 am. Loud speakers etc. Puhlease stop with the race remarks. But we gotta put a lid on the over tourism. I’ll agree with that. Everyone is in on the take…regardless of race.


  10. clowntown June 10, 2019 1:20 pm Reply

    authorizes can also follow up on all the clowns having their photoshoots at closed tunnels lumahai ke’e kalalau trail etc over the past 14 months!


  11. rk669 June 10, 2019 3:16 pm Reply

    Time for the North Shore residents to find A LIFE!


  12. Geckoman June 10, 2019 5:42 pm Reply

    Not all whites are POS – the red necks in this story make up a good percentage but there are those like me that are awake in nature when we visit. We hear and respect the aina and follow signs. Fine and jail those violations. Like illegal immigrants one must have to prove their intents and offerings before being allowed in. Now, let us not overlook the percentage of rowdy sometimes drunk locals that need to be in jail as well. No respect should equal ejection from island.


  13. Makani B. Howard June 11, 2019 7:36 am Reply

    Oh, yeah, that will work…… not. This island would come to an instant standstill if that were to come true.

    Just look around you, much of the trash and pollution, and cars left of the sides of the road are from locals! Who, by the way, drive into private lands to dump their garbage instead of go to the dump, too.


  14. Harmony August 6, 2019 8:35 am Reply

    I do not support the beach wedding. that was really stupid. First time on the island and I think it is magnificent. My brother lives in Hilo and was impressed with the Gypsy Guides app that directed sights to see with a heavy emphasis on culture (aloha) and respect. But I was dismayed by the signage and what I perceived to be a ‘xenophobic’ culture. Funny to say given the mix of cultures that comprise the island to begin with. If Hawaii is that concerned about being overrun with people, then I suggest they be the first state to require a tourist visa. I leave with a bittersweet taste of wealthy land owners and locals in a struggle, general disdain for those not from here; in place that I think is heaven with fences.


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