WAILUKU – Acting Gov. Shan Tsutsui today announced that a deal to purchase one of the most iconic landmarks in Hawaii has been finalized, benefiting both the state and more than 1,600 kupuna. To mark the occasion, he also declared today “Lipoa Point Day” with a proclamation.
Today’s event is a culmination of efforts following last year’s enactment of House Bill 1424 (Act 241), directing the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to acquire historic Lipoa Point for preservation and conservation from Maui Land and Pineapple Company, Inc. (ML&P).
“This important agreement is a win-win situation for our state and our kupuna who have dedicated their lives to Maui Land and Pineapple,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “Hawaii will be able to preserve Lipoa Point for generations to come, while preserving retiree pension plans.”
“Lipoa Point is very special to the people of Maui. The coastal waters are nationally recognized as a marine preserve and will remain a conservation area for the public benefit with this adjacent land acquisition,” Acting Gov. Tsutsui said. “I’m honored to be a part of this initiative become a reality and hope to be involved in the planning for its future use.”
The acquired lands and adjacent shoreline waters support a rich complement of marine, cultural, recreational and potential small scale agricultural resources.
“The stunning coastline of the parcel provides opportunities for passive recreation and access for fishing for our communities,” said William Aila, Jr., DLNR chair. “It is also the home of one of the most diverse, unique and abundant reef formations. It’s important that we conserve and preserve this special parcel of land from development and with sensitivity carefully plan for its potential future uses.”
Act 241 also requires proceeds from the deal to fund ML&P’s pension plan, which would ensure pension needs are met for the company’s retirees. There are 1,600 pensioners, 1,000 of which are International Longshore Warehouse Union (ILWU) members.
“Our retired ILWU members are extremely pleased that their pension plans have been funded,” ILWU President Donna Domingo said. “As anyone can imagine, our members looked forward to having financial security in their golden years after dedicating their lives to the company for many years.”
The cost for the land acquisition was nearly $20 million and consists of approximately 250 coastal acres stretching from Honolua Bay to Honokohau Bay.