Hawaiian hale meets city code - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaiian hale meets city code

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Honolulu (HawaiiNewsNow) - For a long time it was illegal to build a traditional Hawaiian hale because the structure was not recognized in the Honolulu building code.  But thanks to a change in the code, Oʻahu is experiencing its first ever, legally-built Hawaiian hale. Amy Kalili has more.

"The hale is something we have envisioned for quite a while, as a place for people to come and gather," said Mark Hamamoto,Owner, Mohala Farms.

Lôʻihi ka noʻonoʻo ʻia o kçia wahi e ʻâkoakoa ai ka poʻe.

Up until two years ago, a vision such as Mark's Hale Hâlâwai could not be realized on Oʻahu because hale pili construction was not legal.

A i ka ʻelua wale nô makahiki aku nei, paʻakikî ana ka hua mai o ko Mark moemoeâ no kona Hale Hâlâwai ʻoiai he ʻaʻe kânâwai ke ako hale pili ma ʻaneʻi.

"Part of the problem that we had was if a person were to propose to build the structures such as this we have no standard to apply," Tim Hiu, Acting Building Division Chief, Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting.

Ma mua, ʻaʻohe ana hoʻohâlike e nânâ ʻia ai.

Fortunately, six years ago, Maui County created the first set of indigenous codes.

I kôkua naʻe, ma kahi o ka ʻeono makahiki aku nei, ua hoʻopaʻa ko Maui i nâ kulekele i pono ai kçia kûkulu hale kuʻuna ʻana.

"Soon after, hale were built on Maui, Molokaʻi, and Lânaʻi. So the rest of the state was like, "How about us?," said Kenekoa J. Kalani English, D-Hâna, Upcountry Maui, Molokaʻi & Lânaʻi.

Ma hope o kçlâ ua kukulu ʻia nâ hale ma Maui, Molokaʻi, a me Lânaʻi. A laila hoihoi ke aupuni o Hawaiʻi, ʻôlelo ana lâkou "pehea, hiki iâ ʻoukou, pehea lâ?"

And the "go to" builder has been Palani Sinenci.

A eia mai ʻo Palani Senenci, ka loea e nânâ nui ʻia nei no kçia ako hale pili ʻana.

"It's over 100 hale that I've built.  I've built in China and all of Hawaiʻi, and one on Kahoʻolawe," said Francis "Palani" Sinenci, Master Hawaiian builder. 

He 100 hale i paʻa iaʻu ma Kina a puni o Hawaiʻi a ʻo Kahoʻolawe pû.

"In the olden days, it was a necessity, compared to now," said Sinenci.

Ma mua, he mâkau i pono no ka nohona. ʻAʻole pçlâ i kçia manawa.

Hale thatching became a thing of the past relegated to displays and old photos.

Ua lilo ka hale pili he mea o ka wâ i hala e paʻa wale ana ma nâ kiʻi kahiko a hôʻikeʻike paha.

"Aside from using nylon cord and wet stacking the rocks we don't want to deviate from the architecture itself," said Sinenci.

Ma waho o ke kaula naelona me ka pâ pôhaku kîmeki, ʻaʻole makemake e haʻalele i ke ʻano kuʻuna.

The most critical component: the skill and strength necessary to do the work.

A ʻaʻohe poina ʻana i ka mâkau koʻikoʻi me ka hana nui e pono ai. 

"It's challenging, the rocks are big and heavy. They're multifaceted, they're round, they're slippery. So it's taking us a little longer," said Sinenci.

He hana nui. Nui a kaumaha nâ pôhaku o nâ ʻano nui a kinona like ʻole. He hana mâlie.

As the saying goes however, many hands make light work.

Wahi naʻe a kahiko, ʻaʻohe hana nui ke alu ʻia.

For more on this hale pili, email mark@kkv.net.

No ka ʻike hou aku no kçia hale pili e leka uila iâ mark@kkv.net. ʻO wau no kçia ʻo Amy Kalili no Sunrise ma Hawaii News Now. Aloha.

Original airdate 2/16.2010