PLDC rejected by public

SOURCE: Shannon Rudolf ( SUBHEAD: The Public Land Development Corporation hearings have been a scathing rejection of the idea.  

By David Corrigan on 22 August 2012 for Big Island Video News - (

Image above: Robert Petricci tears up administrative rules of PLDC as his testimony in Hilo. From original article.

To the cheers of the crowd, Robert Petricci tore apart the new administrative rules for Hawaii’s Public Land Development Corporation. That pretty much sums up how everyone felt about the newly created agency.

Testifiers expressed outrage on Monday night. One by one, residents lashed out during a hearing held at the Waiakea High School cafeteria in Hilo.

This was the first in a statewide series of public meetings on the new rules for the PLDC. And it looks like things are off to a rocky start. Many cringed at the apparent broad powers given to the new state agency.

Passed through the 2011 state legislature with astounding speed but little public fanfare, Act 55 created the Public Land Development Corporation, and was hailed by Governor Neil Abercrombie as a cornerstone of his New Day in Hawaii platform. Speaking before a room of supporters during this Democratic Party convention in Kona that year, the governor explained just how important the new agency will be in terms revitalizing the state’s ailing parks and boat harbors.

Local senators like Malama Solomon and Gil Kahele also praised the legislation.
The agency will develop state lands and generate revenues for the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Through public-private partnerships, the corporation aims to attract private companies as joint partners in development opportunities.

But as time went on, the public began to take a closer look at the agency, and began to grow concerned with what they found in the fine print.

Moani Keala Akaka, a former OHA trustee, was one of the first to raise a warning.

By the time the PLDC’s chief supporter, Senator Donovan Dela Cruz, made his presentation to the Hawaii County Council later that year - using the Mauna Kea State Park as one example - skepticism was growing. Now, a more informed public is beginning to mobilize.

Former Campbell Estate land manager Lloyd Haraguchi has been named executive director of the corporation, he tried to calm the crowd before the meeting began in Hilo on Monday.

The cheif concern is the intent to develop the public lands – known as the ceded lands in Hawaii.
Others, like Sierra club member Cory Harden, ran down the numerous development rights given to the corporation.

Many testifiers expressed deep concern over how the PLDC will enable further geothermal development on Hawaii Island.

Towards the end of the evening, testimony grew desperate, as folks whose lives are intertwined with Hawaii’s public lands and resources spoke out against the new corporation.
These are remaining Hearing Schedule with date and location:
August 20 (6:00 p.m.) Hilo (Waiakea High School Cafeteria) August 21 (6:00 p.m.) Kona (Konawaena High School Cafeteria) August 24 (6:00 p.m.) Maui (Maui Waena Intermediate School Cafeteria) August 27 (6:00 p.m.) Molokai (Mitchell Pauole Community Center) August 29 (6:00 p.m.) Oahu (Dept. of DLNR Kalanimoku Building, Room 132) August 31 (6:00 p.m.) Kauai (Elsie H. Wilcox Elementary School)
Note:If you cannot make it to one of these hearings, please send your comments directly by 9/14/12 deadline to: email: or mail written testimony to PLDC, P.O. Box 2359, Honolulu, HI 96804  
Hilo Testimony By Occupy Hawaii on 21 August 2012 on YouTube - (  

This Public Land Development Corporation (PLDC) hearing was held at Waiakea High School in Hilo on August 20,2012. Part 5 of 10.
Video above: Segment of hearing testimony. Part 5 0f 10.(

  Kona Testimony By Josephine Keliipio on 25 August 2012 on YouTube - (  

This Public Land Development Corporation (PLDC) hearing was held at the Konawaena High School Cafeteria in Kona on 8-21-2012.
Video above: Segment of hearing testimony. Part 2 0f 6. From (

 Unfortunately, due to an equipment malfunction, a few people at the beginning of the hearing and toward the end of the hearing were missed in this video. E kala mai. Sorry.

Reference material:


Meeting notice

Article in Big Island Now

Testimony previously submitted to the state

Article in The Molokai News

Article in Hawaii Independent

Statue summary by Maui Tomorrow

Summary of the Public Lands Optimization Plan 

See also: 
Ea O Ka Aina: Cold Water in the Face 8/20/12  
Ea O Ka Aina: Public Land Development Corporation 8/18/12 
Ea O Ka Aina: Hawaii Legislative Subterfuge 5/1/12 
Ea O Ka Aina: From the Inside Out 9/23/11  
Ea O Ka Aina: Abercrombie Land Grab 9/13/11  
Ea O Ka Aina: Privitizing Public Land 6/2/11 .

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