Frequently Asked Questions


Why have the harbors deteriorated to today's condition?

Coming soon!

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Why privatize?

Coming soon!  Send your comments for inclusion.

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Can Hawaii small boat harbors be privatized today?

Yes.  In 2001, the Legislature enacted the following statute.

HRS Chapter 200 Sec. 2.5

The 2001 Legislature passed Act 299 and Governor Cayetano signed it into law.  The law allows the privatization of small boat harbors.  The statute follows:

[§200-2.5] Disposition of state boating facility properties. (a) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the board may lease fast lands within an existing state boating facility by public auction or by direct negotiation pursuant to section 171-59, for private development, management, and operation. For the purpose of this section, the term "state boating facility" means a state small boat harbor, launching ramp, offshore mooring, pier, wharf, landing, or any other area under the jurisdiction of the department pursuant to this chapter.

(b) The permissible uses under any lease disposed of under this section shall be consistent with the purpose for which the land was set aside by the governor pursuant to section 171-11. Permissible uses may include any use that will complement or support the maritime activities of state boating facilities.

(c) Disposition of public lands of state boating facilities constructed, maintained, and operated in accordance with this chapter shall not exceed a maximum term of fifty-five years.

(d) All revenues due to the State derived from leases of state boating facilities shall be deposited in the boating special fund. [L 2001, c 299, §2]

Read the original at HRS Chapter 200 Section 2.5

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What can I do?

Click How you can help

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If I report violators, will my name be released to the public?

Informant Protection

No one wants to be an informant.  The Harbor Agent probably already knows if your neighbors are living aboard illegally in harbors where liveaboards are allowed or not paying slip fees .  But in many cases he/she refuses to take action.  Request the Harbor Agents clean up the harbors.

If you are concerned about reporting violators, the State Office of Information Practices issued Opinion 99-8 Re:  Identities of Informants dated Nov. 29, 1999.  The following is an extract from that letter.


Whether the Department of Land and Natural Resources (“DLNR”) harbor staff must publicly disclose the names of persons reporting violations.


No. Agencies are not required to disclose information which, if disclosed, would cause the frustration of a legitimate government function.  Haw. Rev. Stat. §92F-13(3) (1993). Disclosure of the identities of informants would likely chill the DLNR’s ability to perform its function of investigating possible permit violations in the future because individuals will be less likely to come forward with information if they know their identities will be revealed to the alleged violators."

Read the entire opinion at

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How do I file a complaint against a specific state employee?

First, you should try to resolve the complaint with the employee's supervisor or within the department.  However, if that doesn't work, you may contact the Office of the Ombudsman, State of Hawaii.  According to their homepage, "The Hawaii State Ombudsman independently and impartially investigates complaints against state and county agencies and employees."

Click to visit: Office of the Ombudsman Homepage

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How do I make a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)?

Hawaii Freedom of Information Act

Useful brochure by PAR (Public Access Room) of Hawaii State Legislature.  "PAR serves the citizens of Hawai`i by providing facilities, services and equipment to enhance their ability to participate in the legislative process..."  Click to visit PAR

You don't need to be a lawyer.  The request doesn't have to be in writing although if there is a problem, a written request is easier to follow.

Click to see Using Hawai'i's Freedom of Information Law  A Step-by-Step Guide

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Copyright © 2004 Hawaii Boaters Org.  All rights reserved.
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Last modified: 05/12/04

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