The Public Land Development Corporation must not stoically plow on with its administrative rules because it’s “in conformance with the law.”

Senate Bill 1555 creating the PLDC was introduced by Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz on Jan. 26, 2011.

William Aila, current chairman of the Department of Land and Natural Resources submitted testimony contrary to SB1555.

At the Oahu public hearing on Aug. 29, 2012, former DLNR Chair, Laura Thielen, broke her silence and testified against PLDC and supported a repeal of Act 55.

SB 1555 passed without public scrutiny and was enacted into Act 55 by Gov. Neil Abercrombie on May 24, 2011.

Act 55 establishes the PLDC as a state development corporation attached to the DLNR to develop public lands placed under the PLDC jurisdiction, including but not limited to existing open shoreline areas, conservation lands, agricultural lands, and small boat harbors, for commercial purposes to generate revenue for the State.

PLDC has unfettered powers to develop and implement public lands projects and facilities to create revenue-generating centers as opportunities exist “to exploit potential local, national, and international markets.”

Act 55 allows PLDC to exempt development projects from regulatory oversight. PLDC now has over-arching powers to make optimal economic, environmental, and social use of Hawaii’s public lands.

The PLDC Board is, expectedly, stacked with pro-development cronies. Its executive director is Llyod Haraguchi, formerly with the Estate of the James Campbell. The PLDC Chair is Kalbert Young, director of the Department of Budget and Finance; Mary Alice Evans, deputy director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism; real estate investor/publisher partner with Star Advertiser Duane Kurisu, and former state Sen. Bobby Bunda.

No Hawaiian or environmentalist or John Q. Public is appointed to the PLDC exclusive board.

PLDC held its statewide public hearings on its proposed Administrative Rules and the public response was clear and decisively negative.

HILO: Monday, August 20, at Waiakea High School Cafeteria, 155 West Kawili St., Hilo, HI 96720;

KONA: Tuesday, August 21, at Konawaena High School Cafeteria, 81-1043 Konawaena School Rd., Kealakekua, HI 96750;

MAUI: Friday, August 24, at Maui Waena Intermediate School Cafeteria, 795 Onehee St., Kahului, HI 96732;

MOLOKAI: Monday, August 27, at Mitchell Pauole Community Center, 90 Ainoa St., Kaunakakai, HI 96748;

OAHU: Wednesday, August 29, at Dept. of Land and Natural Resources, Kalanimoku Building, Land Board Conference Room132, 1151 Punchbowl St., Honolulu, HI 96813;

KAUAI: Friday, August 31, at Elsie H. Wilcox Elementary School, 4319 Hardy St., Lihue, HI 96766.

The public hearings are pau.

Executive Director Llyod Haraguchi, Program Director Randall Ikeda, and DLNR Chair William Aila witnessed the passion and will of the people. Now what?

The BIG QUESTION: Now what?

Will PLDC ignore the will of the people and continue to bulldoze its agenda through by sheer bureaucratic power?

PLDC Executive Director Lloyd Haraguchi revealed his hand when he continually emphasized the hearings were for the administrative rules. We observed notes were taken only on comments relating to administrative rules.

Haraguchi’s conversation with Sophie Cocke of Civil Beat reinforced PLDC’s intent in this process:

“People get sidetracked,” said Haraguchi. “Most of the meeting in Hilo was about other things. I let it go. It was pretty emotional.”

But he said that if the situation continues to spiral out of control, he will step in.

“As we get closer, and if I don’t think it’s right, I will cut it off if I need to. I mean if they start talking about their mother and father, you know.”

Does PLDC intend to stoically dismiss the bulk of the comments offered by testifiers statewide?

Does PLDC intend to plow forward since it is “in conformance with the law” to focus strictly on “administrative rules” and nothing else?

Does PLDC intend to slash and burn PLCD’s agenda through this process to display the bane of “cultural sensitivity”?

Does PLDC intend to ignore the will of the people, who are owners of these public trusts and assets?

WHAT CAN A CITIZEN DO before 2013 Legislature Session?

1.Submit written testimony for the record. DEADLINE for WRITTEN TESTIMONY on PLDC Administrative Rules Draft is SEPTEMBER 14, 2012. Please email your comments to:,

PLDC only wants to focus on administrative rules. One could begin by stating objections to HAR 13 – 301,

Chapter 13-302,

Chapter 13-303

Thereafter, state your manao for the record. Demand PLDC not to enter into any contracts or obligations before the people complete the Repeal of Act 55.

  1. Collect signatures!

  2. Ask your legislators and candidates: WILL YOU REPEAL ACT 55?

  3. Register and Vote.. The 2012 General Election Voter Registration Deadline is Oct. 8, 2012.

Consider to seek change inside and outside the system. Otherwise, laws will continue to place more roadblocks for the public good.

  1. Share information. Write letters to the Editor, Facebook, and the like.

PLDC needs to be abolished! Repeal Act 55. It’s time to take the government back!

About the author: Choon James has been a real estate broker for over 20 years. She is a member of the Ko’olauloa Sustainable Communities Planning Committee and a member of the Save Oahu Farmlands Coalition.