Initial Launch Begins for Mālama Hāna Pilot Program

Press Release linked HERE from the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority Supporting the

Mālama Maui Hikina Pilot Program





Initial Launch Begins for Mālama Maui Hikina Pilot Program

Request for Participation in Resident Survey by Friday, January 26, 2024

January 22, 2024

By Sunnie Makua, Ke Aō Hāliʻi Vice Chair (

The Mālama Maui Hikina Pilot Project is underway! This project is part of Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority’s (HTA) destination management commitment to Mālama Ku‘u Home (care for our beloved home) and the Community pillar of its 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. HTA and The Maui Visitor and Convention Bureau (MVCB) organized the East Maui Advisory Group beginning in 2022, which is composed of East Maui residents throughout the region to provide input on this program.

Ke Ao Hāliʻi is the lead organization in the current effort which seeks to mitigate issues found in Maui Hikina as it relates to tourism and resident-visitor relations; including safety, access, and visitor education of wahi pana (sacred sites). The Mālama Hāna project hired several local ʻĀina Stewards who will be working at the trail heads of Kaihalulu and Waiʻoka, as well as other areas, to educate visitors of the cultural significance of these areas and the dangerous conditions of the trails and swimming areas. The stewards will collect visitor data and provide the information which you can see in the attached posters. Details are included in the FAQ at the end of this article.

Part of the project is to conduct resident surveys about the impact of visitors coming into Hāna. For the initial survey we ask that you please turn it in by Friday, January 26. Click the link above to add your manaʻo. The purpose of this survey is to understand the residents’ perspective of your connection to this ʻāina (land; that which feeds), Maui Hikina or East Maui and the effect that visitors have on public and private spaces. All your responses will be anonymous. We appreciate your participation in this voluntary survey.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for the Mālama Hāna Pilot Project

WHEN WILL THE TENTS BE SET UP? Look for the big yellow tents. The locations will be active on variable Schedules from 8 am to 4 pm – from the end of January through March 2024.

WHY SHOULD I DO THIS SURVEY? As a resident of Hāna, this is an opportunity for you to share your experience of visitor impact on your daily life and the life of the ʻāina (land). For visitors there will be site specific questions and information shared unique to each location and generally regarding Maui Hikina. Gathering information will continue to assist with ensuring that our community is supported by knowing what actions need to be in place to best support the future stewardship of the ʻāina.

WHAT IS THE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN KE AO HĀLIʻI AND THE MAUI VISITOR AND CONVENTION BUREAU? Ke Ao Hāliʻi is part of the East Maui Advisory Group that was formed in 2022 in which community leaders worked together with MVCB as an effort to empower the community to find solutions to the problem of over tourism in our community. 

HOW WILL THE INFORMATION GATHERED BE USED? Some of the data collected in the pilot project will be reported to MVBC to help develop the understanding of the impact of over tourism on the quality of life of Hāna residents (i.e. safety of driving on the Hāna Highway, impact of visitors to the ʻāina). More importantly, the data collected will be reported back to residents as an effort to invite solution based dialogues within the community that will guide and inform future decisions for Hāna.

WHY ARE THERE YELLOW TENTS POSITIONED AT CERTAIN PLACES ALONG THE HĀNA HIGHWAY AND IN OUR COMMUNITY? There were five “hot spots” identified by the East Maui Advisory Group in partnership with MVCB as primary areas experiencing the negative impacts of over tourism (i.e. illegal parking/stopping along Hāna Highway, etc.) They are Nailiilihaʻele (bamboo forest), Waikamoi, Kaihalulu, Waioka and Wailua. 

WHO ARE THE CONTACTS FOR THE ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED WITH THE MĀLAMA HĀNA PILOT PROJECT? There are three (3) organizations that received contracts from MVCB to carry out the work of stewarding these areas. The non-profit organizations are: 

  • Nā Mahiʻai o Keʻanae with the Site Coordinator designated as Kamaile Pahukoa. Email contact:
  • Ke Ao Hāliʻi  with the Site Coordinator designated as Mona Oliveira Ke Ao Hāliʻi Email contact:
  • The Wailua Hui (supported by Hōlani Hāna Inc.) with the Site Coordinator for Mālama Wailua designated as Lehua Park. Email contact: