The Government’s Private Lands

On Tuesday, a bill will be voted on and probably pass, that changes the regulations for trespassing on State lands. With this bill, a sign will be all thatʻs required to criminalize trespass on improved state land – currently a warning is needed to receive a petty misdemeanor. The problem with this bill, SB2816 “Relating to Criminal Trespass” is that it is merely a modified version of the existing law on trespass, but with the addition of public lands “or highways” (like the one on Mauna Kea?). One portion reads:

A person commits criminal trespass in the second degree if … the person enters or remains unlawfully on agricultural lands without the permission of the owner of the land … and the agricultural lands … have a sign or signs displayed .. .sufficient to give notice and reading as follows “Private Property” or “Government Property – No Trespassing”

The problem here is that by merely adding “or Government Property” (underlined text denotes the text to be added to the law), the State of Hawaiʻi is treating public land as if it were its own private lands. In American law, this is indeed the case – the government has no special rights over its lands, but is like any other private owner (aside from eminent domain). But Hawaiʻiʻs land system comes from the Kingdom, and thus has embedded in it kuleana, or native tenant rights, which William Little Lee (one of its architects) said “cannot be conveyed away, not even by Royalty itself.” If the King could not abridge these rights, then how can the State of Hawaiʻi, which is not even their owner, but more like their thief? As the 1993 Apology Resolution provides:

Whereas, the Republic of Hawaii also ceded 1,800,000 acres of crown, government and public lands of the Kingdom of Hawaii, without the consent of or compensation to the Native Hawaiian people of Hawaii or their sovereign government (Public Law 103-150, 1993)

The Sierra Club had this to say of SB2816:

This bill seeks to allow the government to bar the public from accessing public land, similar to how a private land owner can bar people from entering private land. This is no good. It criminalizes homelessness, hiking, gathering, fishing… and protesting.



I heard about the bill in the Star-Advertiser – which sited Igeʻs camp as authors – too late to attend any hearings or give testimony, but legislators can still be called and possibly be persuaded to change their votes and prevent the creation of a kind of open prison in which we are restricted to our own private properties, commercial lands on which we are mere consumers and those public lands of which the state sees fit to allow our use.

The Sierra Club provided this list of contacts for state legislators:

Here is a link to the bills status page:…

Here is a list of House Reps and contact info:
2016 Representatives

Aquino , Henry J.C. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 419
Phone 808-586-6520
Fax 808-586-6521
H District 38 Waipahu

Belatti , Della Au (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 426
Phone 808-586-9425
Fax 808-586-9431
H District 24 Makiki, Tantalus, Papakolea, McCully, Pawaa, Manoa

Brower , Tom (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 315
Phone 808-586-8520
Fax 808-586-8524
H District 22 Waikiki, Ala Moana

Cachola , Romy M. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 435
Phone 808-586-6010
Fax 808-586-6011
H District 30 Kalihi Kai, Sand Island, Hickam, Pearl Harbor, Ford Island, Halawa Valley Estate

Choy , Isaac W. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 404
Phone 808-586-8475
Fax n/a
H District 23 Manoa, Punahou, University, Moiliili

Creagan , Richard P. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 331
Phone 808-586-9605
Fax 808-586-9608
H District 5 Na’alehu, Ocean View, Capt. Cook, Kealakekua, Kailua-Kona

Cullen , Ty J.K. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 316
Phone 808-586-8490
Fax 808-586-8494
H District 39
Royal Kunia, Village Park, Waipahu, Makakilo, West Loch

DeCoite , Lynn (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 405
Phone 808-586-6790
Fax 808-586-6779
H District 13 Haiku, Hana, Kaupo, Kipahulu, Nahiku, Paia, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Moloka’i, Molokini

Evans , Cindy (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 438
Phone 808-586-8510
Fax 808-586-8514
H District 7 North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala

Fukumoto Chang , Beth (R)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 333
Phone 808-586-9460
Fax n/a
H District 36 Mililani Mauka, Mililani

Har , Sharon E. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 418
Phone 808-586-8500
Fax 808-586-8504
H District 42 Kapolei, Makakilo

Hashem , Mark J. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 326
Phone 808-586-6510
Fax 808-586-6511
H District 18 Hahaione, Kuliouou, Niu Valley, Aina Haina, Waialae, Kahala

Ichiyama , Linda (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 327
Phone 808-586-6220
Fax 808-586-6221
H District 32 Moanalua Valley, Salt Lake, Aliamanu

Ing , Kaniela (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 311
Phone 808-586-8525
Fax 808-586-8529
H District 11 Kihei, Wailea, Makena

Ito , Ken (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 432
Phone 808-586-8470
Fax 808-586-8474
H District 49 Kaneohe, Maunawili, Olomana

Johanson , Aaron Ling (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 427
Phone 808-586-9470
Fax 808-586-9476
H District 31 Moanalua, Red Hill, Foster Village, Aiea, Fort Shafter, Moanalua Gardens, Aliamanu, Lower Pearlridge

Jordan , Jo (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 323
Phone 808-586-8460
Fax 808-586-8464
H District 44 Waianae, Makaha, Makua, Maili

Kawakami , Derek S.K. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 314
Phone 808-586-8435
Fax 808-586-8437
H District 14 Hanalei, Princeville, Kilauea, Anahola, Kapaa, Wailua

Keohokalole , Jarrett (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 310
Phone 808-586-8540
Fax 808-586-8544
H District 48 Kaneohe, Kahalu’u, Waiahole

Kobayashi , Bertrand (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 403
Phone 808-586-6310
Fax 808-586-6311
H District 19 Waialae, Kahala, Diamond Head, Kaimuki, Kapahulu

Kong , Sam Satoru (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 313
Phone 808-586-8455
Fax 808-586-8459
H District 33 Aiea

Lee , Chris (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 436
Phone 808-586-9450
Fax 808-586-9456
H District 51 Kailua, Waimanalo

LoPresti , Matthew S. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 328
Phone 808-586-6080
Fax 808-586-6081
H District 41 Ewa, Ewa Beach, Ewa Gentry, Ewa Villages, Hoakalei, Ocean Pointe

Lowen , Nicole E. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 425
Phone 808-586-8400
Fax 808-586-8404
H District 6 Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, Kalaoa, Honokohau

Luke , Sylvia (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 306
Phone 808-586-6200
Fax n/a
H District 25 Makiki, Punchbowl, Nuuanu, Dowsett Highlands, Pacific Heights, Pauoa

Matsumoto , Lauren Kealohilani (R)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 303
Phone 808-586-9490
Fax 808-586-9496
H District 45 Schofield, Mokuleia, Waialua, Kunia, Waipio Acres, Mililani

McDermott , Bob (R)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 330
Phone 808-586-9730
Fax 808-586-9738
H District 40 Ewa, Ewa Beach, Ewa Gentry, Iroquois Point

McKelvey , Angus L.K. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 320
Phone 808-586-6160
Fax 808-586-6161
H District 10 West Maui, Maalaea, North Kihei

Mizuno , John M. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 439
Phone 808-586-6050
Fax 808-586-6051
H District 28 Kalihi Valley, Kamehameha Heights, portion of Lower Kalihi

Morikawa , Dee (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 442
Phone 808-586-6280
Fax 808-586-6281
H District 16 Niihau, Lehua, Koloa, Waimea

Nakashima , Mark M. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 406
Phone 808-586-6680
Fax 808-586-6684
H District 1 Hamakua, North Hilo, South Hilo

Nishimoto , Scott Y. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 421
Phone 808-586-8515
Fax 808-586-8519
H District 21 Kapahulu, McCully, Moiliili

Ohno , Takashi (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 332
Phone 808-586-9415
Fax 808-586-9421
H District 27 Nuuanu, Liliha, Puunui, Alewa Heights

Onishi , Richard H.K. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 441
Phone 808-586-6120
Fax 808-586-6121
H District 3 Hilo, Keaau, Kurtistown, Volcano

Oshiro , Marcus R. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 424
Phone 808-586-6700
Fax 808-586-6702
H District 46 Wahiawa, Whitmore Village

Pouha , Feki (R)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 319
Phone 808-586-6380
Fax 808-586-6381
H District 47 Waialua, Haleiwa, Pupukea, Kahuku, Laie, Hauula, Waiahole, Waikane, Sunset Beach, Punaluu, Kaaawa

Rhoads , Karl (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 302
Phone 808-586-6180
Fax 808-586-6189
H District 29: Kalihi, Palama, Iwilei, Chinatown

Saiki , Scott K. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 434
Phone 808-586-8485
Fax 808-586-8489
H District 26 McCully, Kaheka, Kakaako, Downtown

San Buenaventura , Joy A. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 305
Phone 808-586-6530
Fax 808-586-6531
H District 4 Puna

Say , Calvin K.Y. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 433
Phone 808-586-6900
Fax 808-586-6910
H District 20 St. Louis Heights, Palolo, Maunalani Heights, Wilhelmina Rise, Kaimuki

Souki , Joseph M. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 431
Phone 808-586-6100
Fax 808-586-6101
H District 8 Kahakuloa, Waihee, Waiehu, Puuohala, Wailuku, Waikapu

Takayama , Gregg (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 324
Phone 808-586-6340
Fax 808-586-6341
H District 34 Pearl City, Waimalu, Pacific Palisades

Takumi , Roy M. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 444
Phone 808-586-6170
Fax 808-586-6171
H District 35 Pearl City, Manana, Waipio

Thielen , Cynthia (R)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 443
Phone 808-586-6480
Fax 808-586-6481
H District 50 Kailua, Kaneohe Bay

Tokioka , James Kunane (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 322
Phone 808-586-6270
Fax 808-586-6271
H District 15 Wailua Homesteads, Hanamaulu, Lihue, Puhi, Old Koloa Town, Omao

Tsuji , Clift (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 402
Phone 808-586-8480
Fax 808-586-8484
H District 2 Keaukaha, parts of Hilo, Panaewa, Waiakea

Tupola , Andria P.L. (R)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 317
Phone 808-586-8465
Fax 808-586-8469
H District 43 Ewa Villages, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Nanakai Gardens, Ko Olina, Kahe Point, Nanakuli, Lualualei, Maili

Ward , Gene (R)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 318
Phone 808-586-6420
Fax 808-586-6421
H District 17 Hawaii Kai, Kalama Valley

Woodson , Justin H. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 304
Phone 808-586-6210
Fax 808-586-6211
H District 9 Kahului, Puunene, Old Sand Hills, Maui Lani

Yamane , Ryan I. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 420
Phone 808-586-6150
Fax 808-586-6151
H District 37 Mililani, Waipio Gentry, Waikele

Yamashita , Kyle T. (D)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 422
Phone 808-586-6330
Fax 808-586-6331
H District 12 Spreckelsville, Pukalani, Makawao, Kula, Keokea, Ulupalakua, Kahului

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