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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, May 17, 2001

OHA, city should cooperate at Waimea

The preliminary interest of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in buying Waimea Falls Park on O'ahu's North Shore presents an intriguing possibility.

In a broad sense, buying the park and its important botanical garden of native plants fits in well with OHA's overall mission: working for the betterment of Hawaiians.

OHA's purchase would help preserve an important cultural resource and would present an opportunity to study and share that resource with Hawaiians and others.

The unanswered question is how would OHA's involvement affect the existing interest by the city? The current city budget includes $5.2 million for purchase of the park for cultural and educational activities.

The last thing taxpayers need is a bidding war for this property.

Perhaps the city and OHA could work together. The city would get an important recreational resource that would remain accessible to the public. And OHA would be able to ensure that an important aspect of Hawai'i's natural patrimony is preserved for its clients and for the rest of us.