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Clip from Stolen Waters
produced for the Native Hawaiian Advisory Council
by Na Maka o ka Aina
CALVIN HOE: For eighty years, they've been stealing our water, but for us it's important that the streams are restored, the stolen water is brought back. So we can plant taro over here.
NARRATOR: But the former plantation owners and the large landed estates don't want to give up their valuable water delivery system.
HERMAN LEMKE: One of the most important assets we have on this island is that tunnel and the ditches that take water from the Kahana, Waiahole, Waikane valleys and take it over where it's dry.
NARRATOR: Former sugar cane lands are filling up with residential and commercial development, which bring far greater financial return than growing sugar cane.
Today, the most powerful players in Hawaii business and government are now facing off against a determined coalition of community groups in a showdown over the water that flows in Waiahole Ditch.
CALVIN HOE: We're talking about planting taro so that we can eat our food, our cultural food, we can eat poi. We're talking about the water going down in the streams, so we can eat opae, we can eat oopu. Go all the way down to the ocean, so that the fish can spawn in the estuaries.
Because this is a very Hawaiian issue. We're talking about Hawaiian sovereignty. We're talking about Hawaiian survival.