Tamashiro cited again for planting in state park


Activist Gene Tamashiro of Hilo has again been cited for leading the planting of a so-called “kanaka garden” in the middle of the Wailoa River State Recreation Area.

State Department of Land and Natural Resources enforcement officers arrested Tamashiro on Sunday and charged him with destruction or disturbance of geological features without a permit and unauthorized planting on state land. Both are petty misdemeanors that carry a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail.


According to the DLNR, 65-year-old Tamashiro was arrested after allegedly digging into the ground and planting a juvenile coconut palm near the rear of the Kamehameha Statue in the park.

Tamashiro and his group of 15 others allegedly planted an estimated 165 keiki coconut palms in the park.

In 2013, Tamashiro and several others were cited following an illegal planting operation in the park.

On Jan. 7, 2021, Tamashiro was again cited for planting several hundred plants.

A crew from the DLNR Division of State Parks removed illegally planted taro and banana trees at that time.

On Jan. 17, 2021, Tamashiro was arrested at Iolani Palace on Oahu after scaling and jumping the fence after he was denied permission to gather with supporters to mark the anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The palace and its grounds were closed at that time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tamashiro was freed on $500 bail for the latest charges and is due to appear in Hilo District Court on Jan. 10, 2023.

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