Kamehameha Schools buys 4,500 Kaupo acres for $21M

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The Maui News, July 7, 2023

Kamehameha Schools buys 4,500 Kaupo acres for $21M

Purchase adds to school’s $13M acquisition of lands in Hamakualoa

Kamehameha Schools has acquired more than 4,500 acres from Kaupo Ranch Ltd., with plans to continue ranching, guided hunting and other activities on the property while considering educational opportunities for Kamehameha Maui students. Photos courtesy Kamehameha Schools

Kamehameha Schools has purchased more than 4,500 acres of land from Kaupo Ranch Ltd. for about $21 million, the school announced Thursday.

The school plans to continue ranching, food production and guided hunting and ecotourism on the property, while exploring educational opportunities for its Maui campus and community partners, according to a news release.

Actively ranched for more than 100 years, the Kaupo region holds historic and cultural significance with petroglyphs, heiau and remnants of historic fishing villages and agriculture systems, according to Kamehameha Schools. The lands are associated with Maui’s King Kekaulike, who made Kaupo his residential seat during the early 18th century.

” ‘Aina is core to Native Hawaiian identity and well-being — framing our shared histories, traditions and relationships,” Ka’eo Duarte, Kamehameha Schools vice president of community and ‘aina resiliency, said in a news release. “Kamehameha Schools’ ‘aina portfolio provides financial returns while allowing us to cultivate prosperous communities for keiki and ‘ohana. With an expanded presence on Maui, we have increased opportunities to work with Native Hawaiian communities and other organizations to support ‘aina-based education and partnerships, natural and cultural landscapes, agriculture and food systems, and other appropriate industries.”

The Kaupo region has been actively ranched for more than 100 years, and Kamehameha Schools said it plans to continue ranching on the lands it recently purchased from Kaupo Ranch.

The property includes Naholoku, Waiu and Kaupo homesteads, ma uka to ma kai connectivity and water resources, the school said.

“For many decades our family, partners, and shareholders have stewarded Kaupo Ranch with a sincere appreciation of the unique sense of place and respect for the culture and lifestyle,” said Wendy Baldwin, whose family has been tied to Kaupo Ranch for generations. “It is a great comfort to know that, as the new owners of this land, Kamehameha Schools will preserve for future generations the traditions that make Kaupo special.”

Kamehameha Schools has also acquired 1,053 acres within the Hamakualoa district on the north side of Maui for $13 million. The acquisition is comprised of three separate areas:

• East Kaupakulua, which totals about 277 acres in the Haiku area between Hana Highway and the northern coastline of the island.

• Kuiaha, which consists of about 161 acres along with agricultural land and gulches that have been used to grow pineapple crops since the early 1950s.

• Halehaku, which includes about 614 acres in the Haiku area between Hana Highway and the northern coastline. Most of the eastern portion of Halehaku is grassy pastureland.

Retaining the lands in Hawaiian ownership was part of Kamehameha Schools’ attraction to these properties, the school said.

“Our stewardship of this land unlocks educational opportunities for our haumana, kumu and the Native Hawaiian community,” said Scott Parker, po’o kula of Kamehameha Schools Maui. “Our kula will have the ability to expand our ‘aina- and sustainability-based learning with cultural, environmental, scientific, career pathways, and other educational assets, helping our haumana deepen their connection to Maui and strengthen their sense of place.”

Across the islands, Kamehameha Schools stewards about 364,000 acres, which include the Maui campus and another 2,673 acres on Maui, mostly in agriculture in Lahaina.

Original Link: https://www.mauinews.com/news/local-news/2023/07/kamehameha-schools-buys-4500-kaupo-acres-for-21m/