The Waianae Coast has been associated with its fine fishing grounds and beautiful beaches benefitting the local residents and avid fishermen. Business pursuits that depend on ocean resources have approached the Nanakuli-Maile Neighborhood Board for approval and support. One of these ventures is the Holomoana Tours (HT), owned and operated by Alfred Van Gieson. Van Gieson presented his business plan to the board last year, October 2016, and described it as a non-profit business. He would partner with the Leeward Kai Canoe Club (LKCC) by sharing their equipment and location. In return, HT would be responsible for the equipment maintenance through the donation of funds. HT desires to help educate tourists and visitors to the area about paddling and broaden awareness of caring for the ecosystem. Business hours would be 8 A.M. to 11 A.M., Monday to Friday, to avoid conflict with beach and park activities.
Neighborhood board members saw some positive aspects of the business. Member Richard Landlord felt it was a good cultural project rather than a business, which would educate outsiders and tourists about the ocean and its natural resources. Landford also considered the limited business hours as a non-intrusive feature that ensures normal beach activities. Board member Karen Awana stated that Van Gieson is the 2012 World Champion Paddler and a Nanakuli resident who could ease the expenses of LKCC.
Other board members voiced doubts about allowing a business to be established on any Waianae beach park fearing it would set a precedent for the creation of other commercial activities on the coast. Board member Patty Kahanamoku-Teruya noted that the association of the canoe halau and the LKCC was formed as a non-profit entity while HT is a for-profit organization. Board member Tercia Ku added that it could lead to another Waikiki by bringing increased development and tourism to the Waianae Coast. Chairperson Cynthia Rezentes called attention to the following:
- HT did not have a permit from the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to do commercial activity on the ocean.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a document regarding potential plans for the future interaction with spinner dolphins which this business may jeopardize.
- Other businesses would establish themselves along the Waianae Coast for added commercial activity.
- Van Gieson had not yet spoken to the local fishermen for their concerns and opinions.
- The business may have an impact on natural resources and the environment.
- HT would use the LKCC halau for profit.
The Nanakuli-Maile Neighborhood Board will discuss and act upon the subject of illegal tour activities along the City and County of Honolulu beaches on the Waianae Coast at its next general board meeting on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, at the Ka Waihona O Ka Na’Auao PCS Cafeteria, 89-195 Farrington Highway, Waianae, 7:00 P.M.- 9:30 P.M. The public is invited to join the discussion.