Mission Statement

The Stewards of Waimea come from all walks of life, and share a common commitment to Ahupua'a o Waimea. Some of us are from the North Shore of O’ahu – some from all the Islands of Hawai'i and others from around the world -- and we are all are dedicated to the future of Waimea Valley as a home for the Hawaiian people, as a source of life, inspiration and knowledge for all, today and into the future.

Together we preserve Waimea Valley as a source of original Hawaiian culture, as a treasure of immense ecological, biological and historic value, and as a complete traditional Hawaiian ahupua’a. To achieve this, Waimea Valley will remain unified, under Hawaiian ownership and proven administration, from the ocean to the mountains.

The Stewards support original Hawaiian leadership in Waimea Valley; we support open access, education, research, recreation, arts, archeology, ecology, publication and green technology. Our commitment is fourfold: to the pristine spirit of the Valley, to the first people of the Islands, to the residents of the North Shore and Hawai’i, and to visitors from around the world.

Here are our principles, which are to express our kuleana (responsibility) to the Valley; this ancient sense of kuleana means caring and family duty, connected deeply to the land:

1. Original Hawaiian Culture: We have a profound respect for traditional Hawaiian culture and its people; for the language, traditions, knowledge, arts, and life in balance with the land which the Hawaiian people exemplify. Waimea Valley should once again be a home, a refuge, a sacred place and a source of life for the Hawaiian people, as it has always been historically.

2. Complete Ahupua’a, Natural Ecology: The land is the first priority – to keep it whole, with all its interconnected living systems. We take responsibility for care of the Hawaiian species found in the Valley, many of which are rare or endangered. We also take responsibility for other rare and endangered species from around the world, found in the special garden collections.

3. Botanical and Archeological Research: We seek to establish a world-class botanical and biological research and propagation facility in Waimea. We also encourage responsible archeological study, guided by original Hawaiians, which does not disturb sacred sites or burial places but restores them to their original state. The institutes at Waimea Valley will publish their results worldwide, both in academic journals and for public education, on the Web, film and video.

The entrance to Waimea Valley, early 1900's
Waimea i ka wa kahiko

4. Public Access, Community Participation and Opportunity: We will ensure public access to Waimea Valley, free or at reasonable cost, with no purely commercial or exploitive activities. We want to open up opportunities for local small businesses, especially those with significant original Hawaiian participation. The existing land below Waihe’e Falls, to which the public now has access, should be improved and maintained, but the overall scope of development should not be expanded. The land above the Falls should be kept as it is – for original Hawaiian families and groups for cultural and sacred purposes, for endangered species, and for archeological study under Hawaiian guidance and supervision.

5. Communications: We support broad public communications and marketing for Waimea Valley, in order to draw increasing participation from original Hawaiians, North Shore residents, and people throughout the Islands. Activities may include traditional Hawaiian festivals, arts performances from many cultures, local fairs and celebrations, community and family meetings. Community activities should always be as low cost as possible, and free to those who cannot afford them.

6. Partnership: The Stewards will work with alliances, partners, coalitions, individuals, community associations, foundations, trusts, universities, corporations, state and local government, and international organizations to assist in managing the assets and activities in the Valley.

We will build a self-renewing network of resources to support the Valley over generations. This legacy will include clear, consolidated legal ownership and management structures, established fundraising methods, supported by permanent income-generating endowments.

Our Commitment

The Stewards of Waimea seek to preserve this ancient, precious Valley in the complex world of 21st Century Hawai’i, against any move to disrespect, divide or exploit it.

In 1843, King Kamehameha III declared the mission of the Kingdom of Hawai’i: “Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono.” This purpose lives on in the State Constitution: “The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.”

The seal of the State of Hawai'i, outside the Capitol in Honolulu.

A modern translation reads: “The essence of the earth is expressed in balance.” This is the motivating purpose of the Stewards of Waimea.

Scott Foster, Communications Director
office 808.988.0555 / cel 808.372.2513
fax 808.988.1777

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