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Trisha Kehaulani Watson
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Honua Consulting
Areas of Interest (Robotics, Software Architecture, Green Energy, Web 2.0, etc.):
Environment, Energy, Ecology
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Hawaii Capital Cultural Area

Learn more about the Hawaii Capital Heritage Area and the Hawaii Capital Cultural Coalition and the benefits it would bring to our community!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a National Heritage Area?

National Heritage Area is a status granted because of the importance of the unique cultures, local traditions, history, and heritage of a place, and makes the area eligible for resources to celebrate and perpetuate that heritage.

Heritage areas are locally-managed partnerships where residents, businesses, local governments, and state and federal agencies collaborate to carry out mutually agreed upon programs and projects that create more livable and economically sustainable communities

How are National Heritage Areas managed?

•The management plan is developed by the community, and responsibility to implement the plan belongs to the community. Planning must be done collaboratively on the basis of mutual interests and shared goals.

•A majority of National Heritage Areas are coordinated by non-profits. The Hawai‘i Capital Cultural Coalition, a nonprofit organization, is the proposed coordinating entity for the Hawai‘i Capital National Heritage Area, charged with conducting an open community planning process and coordinating the implementation of the plan. Anyone who participates in the coalition, which has an open membership policy, is part of the coordinating body.

•The HCCC board of directors, who are community members who serve two-year terms, is accountable to the coalition participants. The board is governed by a set of by-laws that address issues of accountability, including removal.

What is the role of the National Park Service and other federal agencies?

•A National Heritage Area is not a unit of the National Park Service, nor is any land owned or managed by the National Park Service.

•National Park Service involvement is always advisory in nature; it neither makes nor carries out management decisions.

•National Heritage Areas receive funds and assistance through cooperative agreements with the National Park Service. These cooperative agreements are based on the community created master plan for the NHA.

What is the process for the Hawai‘i Capital National Heritage Area?

•A Suitability/Feasibility Study was conducted by the Hawai‘i Capital Cultural Coalition according to NPS guidelines. The study’s purpose is to demonstrate that the proposed Hawai‘i Capital National Heritage Area meets the criteria for NHAs. It serves as the application for eligiblity for this grant program. It is not the plan. The study is available for download on the HCCC website.

•Concurrent bills, S.359 and H.R.1297, to establish the Hawai‘i Capital National Heritage Area were submitted in both houses of Congress in early 2009. Passage of the measure is estimated for late 2009.

What are the benefits of NHA designation?

•Financial and technical support for locally managed, collaborative initiatives that celebrate, preserve, enhance and interpret a region's cultural, historic and natural resources.

•Leveraging of resources through partnerships.

•National attention to and education about an area’s cultural importance.

•Heritage areas build linkages and expand the reach and capacity of people, organizations and communities who want to participate and can benefit from this recognition and funding.

What is the Hawai‘i Capital National Heritage Area about?

•NHAs provide a platform for each area to tell their own stories to a wider audience.

•The three organizing themes of the Hawai‘i Capital National Heritage Area are: Native Hawaiian history and heritage; Hawai‘i’s unique multi-culturalism; and Hawai‘i’s role as a link to Asia/Pacific.

How were the boundaries determined?

•The proposed boundaries for the Hawai‘i Capital National Heritage Area are the Kapalama/Honolulu ahupua‘a that encompass Nu‘uanu and Kapalama Valleys and surrounding area and coastal plain.

•The recommendation to use ahupua‘a as an organizing principle for the stories of the NHA, developed out of conversations at the Community Forums and in consultation with a review panel of Hawaiian cultural practitioners.

•The boundaries do not convey any land use or other regulations. The boundaries were developed to provide continuity for the natural, cultural, historic and educational resources that help tell the stories of the NHA. The boundaries also determine the area in which National Heritage Area program funding may be spent.

What kinds of projects are planned for the National Heritage Area?

•Once designation is achieved a community planning process that is as inclusive as possible will be conducted to develop a master plan for the NHA. The specific activities have not yet been determined. Anyone with an interest in the outcomes of the National Heritage Area, may become involved in the coalition and the master planning process.

•Examples of the kinds of projects the community may wish to support through the NHA initiative include:

education programs

cultural training

interpretive materials and exhibits

support for cultural sites and activities

conservation and preservation

physical improvements

signage and way-finding

economic development projects

Does NHA designation impose any new regulations or restrictions on private property?

•No, NHAs do not impose any new local land use, zoning, land acquisition, building code, or similar federal regulations on private property. Designation legislation does not provide the management entity or any federal agency with the authority to regulate land.

•Protections for private property owners are spelled out in the bill to establish the Hawai‘i Capital National Heritage Area.

These include, among others:

The right to refrain from participating in any plan, project, program or activity conducted within the NHA.

Establishment of the NHA does not alter any land use regulation, approved regulatory plan, or other regulatory authority of any federal, tribal, state, or local agency.

The local coordinating entity does not have any land use or other regulatory authority.

What if I don’t want to participate in the NHA?

•This is an "opt in" program. No one is required to participate in any plan, project, program or activity conducted by the NHA coalition.

What are the requirements for federal funds?

•The match is one to one. Many sources can be used to make up the matching contributions.

•Funding from the National Park Service is received through a cooperative agreement between the NPS and the coordinating entity, and is based on the community-developed master plan.

What has been the community outreach for this project?

•Community outreach is ongoing. It is still early in the process and broad-based community input is being sought. A community planning process that is as inclusive as possible will be conducted once NHA recognition is achieved to create the plan for the NHA, providing anyone interested in participating the opportunity to have a voice in the outcomes of the NHA.

•Since the NHA initiative was begun in 2004, the HCCC has held community and individual meetings, and sent out electronic and written outreach via news media, organizational newsletters, mailings, and the internet to solicit input from any interested individuals within the limits of its resources. Information has been regularly distributed to a large database.

•A June 2007 article published in the Honolulu Advertiser, described the NHA initiative and a prominent side-bar invited public comment.

Hawai‘i Capital Cultural Coalition
1001 Bishop Street, Suite 2800
Honolulu, HI 96813

Phone: (808) 927-1370

Fax: (808) 550-4403

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