Memorials to be removed from sacred Pokai Bay heiau

Published: Oct. 12, 2016 at 1:59 AM HST
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WAIANAE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - About 25 personal memorials have been placed on sacred land in Waianae and the state is having them removed by the end of the year.

The Ku'ilioloa Heiau at Kane'ilio Point at Poka'i Bay once served as a school of navigation and a blessing site for voyagers.

Some of the memorials are set in concrete.

"All the ancestors built this Heiau for a specific purpose and it's my job as a linear descendant of Waianae Moku as Konohiki to protect places like this," said Hanalei Kila Hopfe.

Hopfe is part of DLNR's Aha Moku Advisory Council. He says it's his mission to help preserve the Heiau.

"It's not personal," he said. "It's not done in any anger or hate or animosity or anything, it's basically to protect the Heiau."

Jade Kaaihue says she was shocked to hear she'd have to uproot her mom's 16 year old memorial.

"I was very upset because of the fact that I don't know what they're going to do to my mother's plaque," she said.

Kaaihue is in the Army and stationed overseas, so she doesn't know how she'll get that done before DLNR's deadline at the end of the year.

"I don't want someone to go inside there and smash it to pieces just to remove it," she said.

But Hawaii law states it's illegal to install any monument, memorial or tablet on any Heiau without written permission.

Representative Andria Tupola thinks the people who installed memorials didn't know it was illegal, and perhaps an educational campaign is needed.

"I would recommend the Aha Moku Council to do more awareness and put up a marker or a sign explaining what the Heiau is, what the history is on how it got its name and why we should keep it sacred," Tupola said.

"We're only trying to honor our kupuna, our culture and our community by doing what is pono with aloha," said W. Ken Koike, vice chairman of the Waianae Neighborhood Board.

Technically, DLNR could remove the memorials now, but that's where the aloha comes in as officials give families a 60 day grace period to take care of it themselves.

All memorials must be removed no later than January 1, 2017.

Hopfe says some of the memorials have badly deteriorated. Below is a list he compiled of names associated with memorials at the Heiau:

  • Gina Renee Lovell
  • Noladeen Yvonne Kiaha
  • Emil Davis/Elizabeth Davis
  • Clarence?
  • Benjamin Mandrial Sr. Gabor
  • Lopes
  • Ermina Perreira/Earnie D.A. Perreira
  • Violet M.
  • John Thomas Rosa
  • Virginia K. AhYo
  • Jemie Bandown
  • Laborett Paahana Kamaile Sr.
  • John G. Johnson/Julia L. Johnson
  • Michael E. Floerke (Bird)
  • Georgette Casey
  • Tamarra Ohana-Louis, Ethel, Elizabeth, Adele Mary
  • Anette Gould
  • Tracey Peters
  • Donielle Moana Kaaihue/James Albert Montgomery
  • Harry Tsutomu Tanaka, Ethelbert Aimahau Tanaka
  • Elbert Pomaikai Seto-Oliwa

For more information, contact Hanalei Hopfe at or Ken Koike at

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