Office of the Governor – News Release: Governor Green Announces the Return of More Than 363 Acres on Moloka’i to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands

Posted on Jan 13, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases

HONOLULU, HI – Governor Josh Green, M.D. announces the return of more than 363 acres of leased land in Hoʻolehua and Pālāʻau, Moloka‘i back to the State of Hawai‘i, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL).

“This day is long overdue for the beneficiaries and residents of Moloka‘i,” said Gov. Green. “We are honored to accept the return of these lands on behalf of our Native Hawaiian beneficiaries. Our commitment to ensuring Native Hawaiians can continue to build their capacity through access to more land remains steadfast in this administration.”

Since statehood, DHHL has been constitutionally mandated to administer the Hawaiian Home Land Trust created by the U. S. Congress in 1920. Its core purpose is to deliver land to Native Hawaiians for housing, farming, ranching, community purposes, and mercantile.

The United States Air Force (USAF) leased the lands from DHHL under a 25-year lease at $40,270 annually, which expired on December 31, 2022. The USAF used the lands for radio and communications equipment, installation, and maintenance.

“Receiving these lands back into the Hawaiian homes inventory means a great deal to me and the Governor,” said DHHL Director Ikaika Anderson. “I am grateful to be traveling to Moloka‘i with Senator Lynn DeCoite to walk this land, and to connect with Hawaiian Homes Commissioner Zachary Helm, with homestead association leaders, and beneficiaries about the future of their lands.”

DHHL’s planning document identifies the 363-acre parcel as having significant cultural sites that warrant preservation. The return of the lands will allow for more continuity and connection of Native Hawaiian beneficiaries with cultural and natural resources on the northern cliffs of Moloka‘i. Pastoral in nature, the parcel also features miles of shoreline access to fishing and other gathering opportunities for cultural practices.

“I am pleased that this land is being returned to DHHL to benefit beneficiaries and homesteaders on The Friendly Isle,” said Sen. DeCoite. “The repurposing of USAF facilities as critical emergency infrastructure for Moloka‘i’s people will increase the resiliency of our community. Representing the only true canoe district in the State Senate, which covers some of the most rural areas and includes Kaho‘olawe, I am committed to pursuing resources for rural communities and rehabilitation of land and facilities on Moloka‘i and around the state.”

For photos click here. 



Media Contacts:

Erika Engle
Press Secretary
Office of the Governor
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (808) 586-0120


Makana McClellan
Director of Communications
Office of the Governor
Email: [email protected]
Cell: (808) 265-0083