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Office of Hawaiian Affairs renames 30-acre land in Kakaʻako

Hakuone.jpeg
Office of Hawaiian Affairs
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An aerial image of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs' Kakaʻako Makai property now known as Hakuone.

Hakuone — which translates to “sands of creation” — is the new name for a 30 acre swath of industrial land in Kakaʻako owned by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

OHA received its Kakaʻako property as part of a settlement with the state for back-rent on the state's use of ceded lands.

Developers say Hakuone has the potential to generate millions of dollars for OHA to invest in its Native Hawaiian beneficiaries.

These were once productive wetlands with freshwater springs and fishponds that allowed residents to participate in salt-making and fishing.

Kumu Hula Cy Bridges came up with the name — hoping it will help cultivate a sense of Hawaiian identity and prosperity for the area.

"When you take it apart, the word 'haku' means to 'put in order' or to 'arrange.' For example, when you 'haku a lei', and you select certain things to weave into a lei. Then of course 'one,' although 'one' is sand, in poetry 'one' is also referred to as land," says Bridges.

"Hakuone is a piece of property where we would help to bring it to life, to cultivate it. Anciently, it was the aliʻi, he had his people there to take care of the land so that the land can take care of the people. And our people need a lot of help today."

Over the next few months, OHA plans to conduct a robust community outreach to determine the best use of the 30 acres for the betterment of its Native Hawaiian beneficiaries.

Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi is a general assignment reporter at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Her commitment to her Native Hawaiian community and her fluency in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi has led her to build a de facto ʻōiwi beat at the news station. Send your story ideas to her at khiraishi@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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