Tuesday, July 10 at Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapū

KAHULUI, MAUI, HI –  Koa Hewahewa, Director of Forestry Operations for Hōkūnui Maui, LLC and kumu hula Keali‘i Reichel are the featured speakers at the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce’s (MNHCoC) membership dinner at 5:30 pm, Tuesday, July 10 at the Maui Tropical Plantation Tram Station.

Renowned as one of Hawai'i's most popular recording artists, Kealiʻi Reichel is the kumu hula of multi-award winning Hālau Ke‘alaokamaile and Koa Hewahewa oversees forestry operations for Hōkūnui Maui, LLC. Their presentation will highlight their collaboration in reforesting a native ecosystem as part of the construction of a new permanent home for Hālau Ke’alaokamaile on four acres of donated land in Piʻiholo. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has provided a grant of $240,000 and project partners include the Hewahewa family (Koa, Kepa, Ka’awa and Kahaku Hewahewa) and Hōkūnui Maui LLC. The Hewahewa ʻohana are native reforestation experts. Hōkūnui Maui, LLC is a land management group developing an innovative regenerative project on a 258-acre property in the Piʻiholo region of Upcountry Maui

The Frost family purchased the 258-acre Hōkūnui property in 2012 after more than a century of having been planted in sugar cane and pineapple. According to Hōkūnui’s website, the company “strives to optimize environmental, social and cultural impacts while operating a financially viable business model, which will sustain itself and expand over time. This we refer to as the Regenerative Quadruple Bottom Line.”

Efforts to create the hālau’s new home to restore Hōkūnui’s native ecosystem links culture and agriculture. According to kumu hula Reichel, “It deepens the practices of hālau, because it gets the dancers into the dirt where all of our power comes from. Every chant that we do, everything we chant about--our pule--all has to do with the forest and with the plants that we chant about. It’s all elemental, that part was separated. Here, for us, it’s a melding.”

“I like what Keali`i told me about normalizing protocol,” commented Koa Hewahewa. “That is a big component that is missing from farming, from a lot of the things we’re doing. Whether it’s construction, hospitality industry, farming---those are run with a Western concept. This project is very different.”

“We are honored and grateful that Keali‘i Reichel and Koa Hewahewa will share with our members their inspirational vision for this important project,” said MNHCoC president Teri Freitas Gorman. “Their partnership is a beautiful example of the benefits of culture, commerce and community and what can happen when landowners and cultural practitioners see the possibilities inherent in collaboration.”

No-host cocktails and networking will begin at 5:30 pm at that Maui Tropical Plantation. Admission is $25 for members and $30 for non-members. Dinner will be catered by Aria's Restaurant. RSVP and pay in advance at www.mnhcoc.org or call (808) 757-3045 to pay by phone. RSVP closes on Sunday, July 8.


About the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce (MNHCoC) —  MNHCoC’s mission is “to promote and sustain Hawaiian values and culture, and enhance the socio-economic status of Native Hawaiians in business and as individuals.” Membership is open to anyone with an interest in perpetuating the spirit of Aloha through commerce, culture and community. The Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce welcomes all Hawaiians and “Hawaiians at Heart” to share in their mission.  For more information, see www.mnhcoc.org.

REVISION of July 2, 2018 RELEASE

Contact: Corey Vicens or 808.633.6962