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DLNR orders activists to remove ‘kanaka garden,’ other property from Wailoa park

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Officer Lawrence Terlep Jr. of the Department of Land and National Resources serves a cease-and-desist notice to Gene Tamashiro and activists peacefully protesting in front of the King Kamehameha statue in Hilo on Tuesday. Tamashiro gave the officers his own information while DLNR spokesman Dan Dennison recorded the exchange.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources sent a small contingent of enforcement officers late this morning to Wailoa State Recreation Area in Hilo to deliver a cease-and-desist notice to a group of activists who planted a “kanaka garden” on the lawn fronting the statue of Kamehameha the Great.

The document, signed by DLNR Chairwoman Suzanne D. Chase, and addressed to Gene Tamashiro, Chad Haa, et al, served notice “to remove all personal property, plants, items, materials and related equipment from the park” by 5 p.m. Wednesday.

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The order said that “any private and personal property found on the grounds” of the park after 5 p.m. Wednesday “shall be treated as abandoned or seized property and disposed of by the state … .”

The notice, while not served until today, was dated on Monday.

Tamashiro and others had occupied the park since Sunday and replanted the kanaka garden, which was originally planted by activists in 2012 and uprooted the final time by authorities in 2013.

There are also a few tents and a tarp tent in the park, as well.

Tamashiro, who identifies himself as “Hawaiian Kingdom Governance Authority” and declaring the kanaka garden the “the people’s Crown Land garden at Wailoa” said the park is on crown land deeded to the people by Kamehameha III and the state doesn’t have legal title to the land and hasn’t shown documentation of such. Haa is also on the document as a lineal heir to Kamehameha III.

The garden, which was started on Sunday with taro plants and banana trees, had been expanded considerably by today.

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See Wednesday’s Tribune-Herald for a complete version of this story.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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