Key areas of Hawaii Kai would be drawn out of district under new election maps plan

Election maps are re-drawn every 10 years. This year's proposal is getting some push back from residents.
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 4:42 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2021 at 5:01 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Controversy over the state’s proposed voter redistricting plan has now moved to Hawaii Kai.

Community leaders are upset the area’s only high school and more could be put in another district.

The new line puts half of the Peninsula townhouse complex into the Windward district along with Kaiser High School, Koko Head Elementary, Koko Marina Shopping Center and the Hawaii Kai Fire Station.

Election maps are re-drawn every 10 years.

Hawaii Kai Realtor Mariliz Reilly has a son at Kaiser and she’s worried about a weakened voice at the state Legislature for many Hawaii Kai residents, who would no longer have a fellow resident as their state representative.

“I was shocked. As a lifetimer born and raised in Hawaii Kai what do you mean that half our community is not going to have a voice about issues that we are all concerned about?” said Reilly.

“How do we sell one couple a house at the Peninsula and tell them that they are really in Waimanalo now,” she added.

Also going into the new district would be the Kaiwi Coastline, which Hawaii Kai residents fought to preserve. Three neighborhood boards, Hawaii Kai, Waimanalo and Kailua, voted against the plan.

“This is a disaster,” said Roberta Mayor, Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board chair.

The commission plan mixes East and Windward Oahu while spitting up Hawaii Kai so residents are proposing an alternative map called the Hicks plan which keeps Hawaii Kai all in one district.

The Hicks plans shows that we can maintain Makapuu as the historic natural geographic boundary between the districts,” said Mayor.

“The proposal seeks to carve out large sections of Hawaii to put into the Windward district and nonsensically, Kaiser High School, the community’s flagship school is also going to be put into the windward house district,” she added.

At their last meeting, reapportionment commission leaders say this is only the beginning of the process and are seeking public input.

“It’s not a done deal. That’s that’s definitely not the case and there was changes made 10 years ago and 20 years ago, after the public hearing process. We have to go to the public with something,” said Dylan Nonaka, reapportionment commission member.

The Reapportionment Commission has an upcoming Zoom meeting for the East Honolulu area set for Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. Join by clicking here.

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