MA‘O Organic Farms, Kamehameha Schools and Central Pacific Bank formed a unique partnership on the Wai‘anae Coast that will help expand MA‘O’s social enterprise program and farm operation in Lualualei. The collaboration allows MA‘O to acquire 236 acres of land through a guaranteed loan agreement with CPB expanding its current 45-acre operation to 281 acres, making MA‘O the eighth largest landowner and the fourth largest private landowner in Wai‘anae.
Our endeavor to secure and steward this ‘āina in perpetuity is made possible because of the mutual respect, aloha and willingness to turn our hands to the work together. We are grateful to our collaborators at Kamehameha Schools and at Central Pacific Bank for their partnership to grow empowered youth leadership and good food for our communities.
With community kōkua, KS helped return water to Maui's Kahoma Stream after nearly 130 years! With this precious resource restored, the community is able to continue the Native Hawaiian cultural practice of growing kalo. The stream is bringing the community and keiki back to the ‘āina and the o‘opu nakea are returning. After the historic restoration of Kahoma Stream, KS volunteers and Maui community members planted the first kalo in the lo‘i.
In recent years, Kamehameha Schools’ vision as landowner has evolved. Not only must our commercial properties generate income to support our educational mission, they must also create real and widely shared value in their communities. This basic principle has led to a development approach that prioritizes housing and transit, the local economy, and the presence of arts, culture and public space.
In 2018, the trust committed to reinvesting in Kapālama Kai, where KS owns 105 acres of commercial land. The 20-year master plan calls for a strong industrial business base, increased kama‘āina housing and transportation options that reduce car dependency.
Bound by a shared purpose to advance food self-reliance in Hawai‘i, Kamehameha Schools and The Kohala Center teamed up to launch Mahi‘ai a Ola, an initiative to support local farmers, agricultural education, and innovative solutions to improve food security.
Mahi‘ai a Ola encompasses the deeper meaning of mahi‘ai – the idea of cultivating an ‘āina-based lifestyle, a way of thinking, and our connection to and relationship with ‘āina. In the larger food system, farmers cultivate more than food, they cultivate minds, families, and communities. Because farmers, like students, thrive in a healthy environment. See how Mahi‘ai a Ola is about more than land and money it is about honoring our mahi‘ai (farmers) as exemplars in our community, true lāhui lifters, who not only grow food but provide sustenance for all.
Kamehameha Schools is in the final construction phase for the transformation of West Hawai‘i’s Kahalu‘u Ma Kai into a 22-acre world-class educational and cultural gathering place. Regional Director Kaimana Barcarse envisions the completion of the sacred place. “We look forward to welcoming back and engaging with keiki and their ‘ohana next year, so they are able to once again walk in the footsteps of our kūpuna, and are pleased that it will serve as a piko for Native Hawaiian ‘āina-based, science, technology, engineering, arts and math education.” See the amazing transformation of the KS-owned site that began with the “soft demolition” of the old Keauhou Beach Hotel in 2017.