Brief History of the Fishpond

According to S. Kamakau, in the 13th century, a Tahitian chief known as La’amaikahiki sailed from Tahiti to Kane’ohe and landed at what is known as Waikalua. (Note: Kihei’s research refers to the site as Waihaukalua or the place where Waikalua fishpond is today) Not sure of the translation but suspect it could mean dirty water of the pit or two dirty water places since it is always brown in that area because of the streams flowing from mauka.
La’amaikahiki named the area known as Waikalua and the Kokokahi Y site as Naoneala’a (the sands so La’a) It is considered the place that La’amaikahiki introduced the “pahu hula” in Hawaii. It is also known as a place to greet other pacific islanders.
Queen Kalama, wife of Kamehameha III (Kauikeaouli) was very fond of the pond. After the great mahele in 1848, the King and Queen retained ownership of the pond(s) in the area. Kane’ohe was considered “aina Momona” and the Alii loved the area.
Kamehameha III is the son of Kamehameha the great and Keopuolani (she is considered the highest rank of any living Hawaiian) Kamehameha III is also the longest reigning King 1824-1854 of all Hawaii’s Kings. Kalama is considered a maka’ainana rank…
Charles Coffin Harris, originally lawyer from New Hampshire, gains the favor the King Kamehameha V and becomes minister of foreign affairs, and eventually Chief Justice of the Hawaiian Supreme Court serving all the way to King Kalakaua’s time. C.C. Harris is either given or sold the Waikalua loko fishponds as we know it today. Harris dies in the early 1880’s and sells it to the Botelho brothers. The Botleho’s are the precursor to the James B. Castle ranch which includes most of Kaneohe and Kailua. Castle turns into Kaneohe Ranch that we know of today.

Henry Wong was a land manager for Kaneohe Ranch for over 35 years. Upon his retirement, he is given certain lands fro his good service to the ranch. It includes the Waikalua fishpond and what is known today as the Bayview golf course and surrounding area.

In 1989, a Japanese company known as the Pacific Atlas Hawaii buys the golf course from the Ukauka family including the fishpond from Henry Wong with the intent of expanding the golf course to a championship course from a small par 3 course that it used to be. Pacific Atlas gets approvals in 1994 but has to preserve the pond. In that process, I make an agreement with the City Council, Mayor and the Japanese owner to start a non-profit organization to steward the pond without any control from the city or landowner. In 1995, I form the WLFPS with the help of the owner to pay for the attorney fees. In 1998, Pacific Atlas goes bankrupt. Two other owners buy the golf course and pond since then. Current owner K-Bay LLC also going into foreclosure with Central Pacific Bank as the title holder.
Since 1995, the Society in partnership with PAF develops a new model for culture -based curriculum utilizing the pond as the cultural resource to teach math, science, social studies and language arts. The Native Hawaiian Education Council in 2005 selects the Kahea Loko curriculum project as a new model and helps to publish it online. 2007, the Hawaii Department of Education awards PAF a “partners in excellence award for Kahea Loko and the new Aloha aina (ahupua’a) curriculum projects. To date, nearly 1,500 teachers are trained reaching nearly 50,000 students statewide. Between 3 to 5,000 students/community member visit and or conduct classes at the pond yearly.