Posted 11/04/2023


If you are near a television, Hawaii News Now told us they would be covering our effort to preserve the Old Koloa Sugar Mill and our rural community. HPM had been issued permits by the County Planning Commission earlier this year in February. The permits allowed them to do an industrial operation on Ag land that is not permitted by State or County Law. An appeal had to be filed with the Circuit Court and Judge Watanabe vacated the Planning Department Permits citing the fact that HPM’s operation on Ag land was illegal.
Please find copies of an archeologist complaint and together with our testimony before the Planning Commission 9/12/2023 resulted in the Planning Director’s Notice of Violation and Order to Cease and Desist “immediately”. Rather than cease or worry about the $10,000 fine, the County advised HPM they would suffer, HPM continued to operate.
You may recall, an archeologist we had worked with on our dairy fight, weighed in with a letter to the County and the State, reminding them that the Old Historic Koloa Sugar Mill was on the National Registry and identified by the State of Hawaii as a site to be preserved. See archeologist letters attached.

HPM’s flagrant violation of the County’s Cease and Desist Order, breach of State and County Ag laws will be the subject of a Hawaii News Now coverage this evening at 6:00 pm.

Mahalo nui,

Bridget Hammerquist, President
Friends of Maha`ulepu, a 501(c)(3)
Kia`i Wai o Wai`ale`ale, Co-founder
PO Box 1654
Koloa, HI 96756
[email protected]

 Posted 11/01/2023

Grove Farm and HPM Cited


  1. Another Win for Our Community:

    On October 20, 2023, Kauai County Planning Director, Ka`āina Hull served a Notice of Violation and Cease and Desist Order on Grove Farm and HPM for their illegal lumber mill operation in the Old Kōloa Sugar Mill. Earlier this year, Kauai County Planning Commission issued special use permits to HPM who had applied to the Planning Department for the permits, intending to erect a large Cirque du Soleil style tent (100′ x 200′) for the construction of trusses and modular walls. The three acre parcel that HPM leased from Grove Farm shared a lot line with the residential Ag lots in Poipu Aina. Those residents, FOM, and many from Kōloa, objected to the permits HPM requested because of HPM’s improperly cited industrial operation that would involve large trucks as well as the noise that would be generated by air guns and saws operating daily by HPM. The Planning Department issued the special use permits and an Appeal was filed before Judge Watanabe. After review of our State and County Ag Ordinances, the Court, Judge Watanabe revoked the special use permits which the Planning Commission had issued to HPM. After they lost their permits, HPM and Grove Farm moved the operation into a portion of the old mill, operating without any permits. 

We went back to the Planning Commission and supported a request for a Declaratory Order to stop the illegal activity. The Citation is the result of that further hearing. The following are part of a press release that will be issued by a media group on behalf of Friends of Maha`ulepu and Save Kōloa.

“Kōloa doesn’t need and would not be helped by large double and triple axle trucks driving through our small town, loaded with lumber and forklifts headed for an operation on Ag land in the old sugar cane mill,” said Elizabeth Okinaka of Save Kōloa. “HPM has been illegally using this Ag land without any permits, operating saws and noisy air guns as they build trusses and modular walls. What we need is for Grove Farm to bring back our small farmers, who used to lease their land to increase our food sustainability after sugar ended.”

“One wonders if we are part of the wild west,” added Bridget Hammerquist, President of the community group Friends of Maha`ulepu. “HPM’s activities at the Old Kōloa Sugar Mill do not support agriculture and are considered illegal on land zoned for agriculture. Now that a Notice of Violation and Cease and Desist Order have been issued by the county’s Planning Department, we hope that all HPM illegal operations in Kōloa will end.”



Humpback whales are often seen breaching off the shores of Maha’ulepu during the winter months.

Friends of Maha’ulepu is comprised of a group of concerned citizens (local and beyond) who are contributing their time and talents to protect the natural beauty of this pristine coastal valley.

Maha’ulepu Beach is located on the South Shore of the Island of Kaua’i in the Hawaiian Islands, approximately 3 1/2 miles northeast of the town of Poi’pu.  Poi’pu is one of the major visitor destinations on the island due to it’s beautiful beaches, swimming, snorkeling and surfing, sea turtles, whales, monk seals, trade winds, palm trees, and spectacular sunsets. Learn more about Friends of Maha’ulepu and the work we are doing!

Maui wildfires timeline of failed communications