12/10/2020 - Heiau Tours

The hui will be taking up the suggestion to have an on-line reservation form for residents to request a personal or family tour of the heiau. The idea is only in the "what if" planning stage and will be formally considered once the virus pandemic is over. If you have any question or suggestions on how we can educate the public on the heiau's history and sense of place, please feel free to contact us via e-mail us..

12/10/2020 - Hui Completes Ki Planting At Heiau Upper Entrance

Hui members completed the planting of ki at the upper level of the heiau's entryway. The project is part of the ki planting started a couple of years ago along the N. Haku Mele and Paulehia street shoulders.

Over the next few weeks, erosion control measures along both sides of the stairway will be addressed to prevent soil and debris from overflowing on to the stairway.

Due to the COVID19 restrictions, the heiau talkstory event continues to be temporarily suspended.

12/10/2020 - Animals Prohibited On Preservation Site Land

All pet owners are reminded that the entire heiau preservation site does not allow animals (in particular dogs), including the site's street shoulders along N. Haku Mele and Paulehia streets. There has been an increase in animal feces/waste. We ask all pet owners for their kokua to prevent their animals from using this sacred Hawaiian cultural site as a sandbox.

12/9/2020 - Keau Kukui 'Ula December Quarterly Report To BOD

The following report update was presented at the PEK Board of Directors Meeting held December 7:

  • The biweekly inspections continue, and the landscaper is doing an excellent job of keeping the preserve weed-free despite the recent rains.
  • During inspections, we continue to find animal feces, possibly both cats and dogs, on the grounds. We have residents report seeing people with dogs permit them to use
    the preserve despite the clear signage, and we appreciate the residents who have confronted those people about the abuse. A reminder will be appear in the PEK newsletter.
  • The kukui trees have been "manicured" to maintain their health and beauty, the lower limbs trimmed so they do not grow to interfere with the heiau structure. Dead ki plants are being replaced while the rainy season is still with us. We are grateful to homeowners nearby who give ki starts to plant. This week, we will be planting ki along the mauka upper edge to complete the boundary, preparatory to removing the ki "skirt" that has been there.
  • Our research into Hawaiian history and culture and how heiau fit into them continues. In November an article explaining Makahiki and its connections to heiau was published on the website, and another article will be coming near the end of Makahiki season.

11/10/2020 - Keau Kukui 'Ula Report To BOD

Keau Kukui Ula Heiau presented its quarterly report to the Board of Directors in the Board's October meeting. Following are the highlights:

  • The heiau hui has been limiting in-person contact which has made it impossible to continue our public talk story programs and site visits for now.
  • Research, writing, and planning as well as overseeing the maintenance of the heiau continue throughout the COVID19 situation.
  • Exploration of relevant history of the heiau and land recently acquired by PONC at the shoreline in this ahupua'a was initiated..
  • The hui presented testimony on the parcel of land to the south of Pualani Estates scheduled for possible commercial and residential development.
  • DLNR requirements such s logging monthly site inspections and protocols are on-going
  • The hui's website continues to be a source for updates, articles, and relevant information.

10/28/2020 - Keau Kukui 'Ula Heiau and Makahiki - Hawaiian Giving of Thanks & Reflection

As we celebrate American Thanksgiving and other autumn and winter holidays, we might pause to appreciate the ancient Hawaiian season of Makahiki. The heiau here in Pualani Estates would have been a busy temple complex during Makahiki, a four month period between roughly the end of our October and late February. Keau Kukui Ula is an agricultural heiau, mapele, dedicated to Lono, the god associated with fertility, rain, abundant food and peace. Offerings were made to him to revive the land and assure rain and good crops. Typically they were pig (especially black ones), dog, fish, vegetables, and fruits like bananas. It would begin with the kahuna (priests) of the heiau watching the skies carefully, waiting for the rising of the Pleiades constellation in the eastern sky. Known to them as Makali'i, when that star cluster was seen rising above the horizon at sunset, the start of the Hawaiian lunar new year was declared.

Makahiki was a season of rough seas, high winds, storms and heavy rains. Lono could appear in many different forms or kinolau. The god was recognized in the black clouds of Kona storms with lightning being his flashing eyes, and as the kukui tree for the many good things it provided for the people. Makahiki was a perfect time to turn from the work of farming and fishing to focus on the community and peaceful pursuits. War and conflicts were suspended and forbidden. Many kapu or taboos were lifted and people gathered for feasting, competitive games and special rituals and pageants.

During Makahiki, observances included a procession moving clockwise around each island over several days. A representative of the god Lono would stop at the boundary of each ahupua'a (land division) - in our case Puapua'a Nui - to collect tributes, gifts, taxes or tithes from the people of that ahupua'a. The chief of each district would have gathered the very best of what the people produced - bird feathers from the uplands, tapa cloth, finely made tools, carvings, lauhala mats, bowls and so on. The procession was led by a man carrying a tall pole that bore symbols of Lono - a crosspiece draped with white tapa cloth, a feather adornment made of the stuffed pelts of the kaupu bird, an albatross, and a carved figure atop the main pole that represented Lono himself. (insert photo?) The goods collected would be distributed among the entourage and some retained for the chief of the whole island. It was a joyful affirmation of peace, plenty and prosperity to begin a year that might include famine, war, volcanic activity, earthquakes, bad weather, and sickness. With the end of Makahiki, closing rituals were performed, the kapu put in place again, and the year's agricultural labor began again in earnest.

Written for KKU by Dr. Kate Kealani H. Winter


The heiau hui presented its quarterly update to the PEK Board of Directors at the Board's October 14 meeting. Following is a summary of the report:

COVID19 has limited in-person contact among hui members and others. For example, its public talk story programs and site visits have been put on hold. In addition to its research and planning the hui continues to oversee the maintenance of the heiau. 

We are exploring relevant history of the heiau and land recently acquired by PONC that include the Kauakaiakaola Heiau.  We hope to network with cultural practitioners and experts to get a better understanding of the relationships among heiau in our region. The acquisition is comprised of approximately 12,639 acres on the makai side of the Casa de Emdeko Condominiums on Alii Drive.

The hui has also testified to support keeping the parcel to the south of Keau Kukui `Ula free from commercial and residential development, and we continue to comply with DLNR requirements, logging monthly site inspections and protocols, and maintaining our website.


As the hui that is responsible for the preservation and protection of the heiau in the Pualani Estates subdivision,  members of the hui leadership sent letters to Hawai`i County representatives outlining major areas of concern relative to the proposed Royal Vistas housing project.

According to a Hawai`i County Planning Department document dated July 30, 2020 "The proposed project is located approximately 2.7 miles south of downtown Kailua-Kona and would consist of necessary improvements to construct up to 450 multi-family residential units in clusters of two and three-story buildings on approximately 70 acres..."

The lands of Pualani and the area in question were significant parts of the Kona Field System (KFS), a remarkable agricultural achievement that fed and supported a large population in a fairly inhospitable area. Development in recent years had created changes to the landscape that erased, obscured and destroyed much of the history and cultural artifacts that lay in and on the land. In one of its strongest statements the hui pointed out "That history is gone. It cannot be recreated."

The hui is asking the public to share their mana`o with county officials so these ancient lands can be protected from further destruction and desecration. We must malama ka `aina.


To: Michael Yee, Hawai`i County Planning Director

To: Maxine Cutler, County of Hawai'i - Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation Commission


Visitors to the Keau Kukui `Ula website can now view videos from the archives with one click. All of the videos are now visible by going to the heiau's Resource page. There, visitors will be able to see all of the videos available to the public. Just click and watch!


Throughout the virus pandemic Hui members continue to monitor the heiau by conducting routine inspections, coordinating work with the maintenance crew, and communicating with cultural pratitioners and historians. A lot of behind the scenes work continues as members gear up and prepare for the gradual lifting of the virus restrictions by the Hawaiian Government. Hopefully most of its work can resume by August. Some of its objectives have either been postponed or moved back due to accomodate the restrictions.

To date the heiau is at its best condition since oversight by the Hui began in 2015.


Routine inspection of the heiau was conducted on May 26. Ho`okupu was offered prior to the inspection.

The heiau maintenance crew is now maintaining a section of the heiau referred to as the southern "triangle" area. The section faces N. Haku Mele street.

This area was thought to be part of adjacent properties and the hui has determined that it is part of the preservation site. Maintenance started immediately and will be part of our monthly maintenance service schedule.

In late May it was reported that kukui branches had fallen near the main structure of the heiau (probably due to recent weather conditions). An inspection was made and the fallen branches were cut up to mitigate removal of the branches and avoid damage to the heiau structure. There was no damage to the heiau platform.

A follow up inspection was made a few days later to ensure no other branches had fallen. During the second inspection, the Hui decided to trim two other low hanging branches to avoid a similar situation in the future.



Hui members have been working at home balancing their time to stay within the guidelines of the corona virus pandemic as they manage the heiau's responsibilities and activities.

Leading up to the stay-at-home restrictions, the following measures were taken:

  • We have completed the ti leaf planting on the Paulehia street side
  • The Hui's monthly meetings have been postponed - the next scheduled meeting is June 9, pending any unforeseen restrictions
  • Kohanaiki field trip - canceled, to be rescheduled
  • May 16th Kukui Talk Story - cancelled/to be rescheduled
  • Meetings with Kona cultural historians - to be rescheduled
  • Lecture on the Kona Field system - cancelled
  • We rewalked the heiau boundary with our maintenance crew to get a clearer understanding of the heiau's perimeter to resolve property boundary issues

Looking ahead the hui is working on the following:

  • Follow up meeting with the County CRC (Cultural Resource Commission)
  • Reconstruction of the leaf skirt fence at the top of the stairway
  • Developing a revised heiau plan for submission to the Hawaiian Government for approval.
  • Adjusting project time lines affected by the corona virus pandemic
  • Get back on track on programs and activities

Please respect this historic land.. Animals are not allowed on the preservation site.


Keau Kukui `Ula Preservation Hui (Committee)
c/o Hawaiiana Management Company, Ltd
Palani Court - Suite 215
74-5620 Palani Rd
Kailua-Kona, HI, 96740
Phone: (808) 930-3218 (Office)
Fax: (808) 331-1743 (Office)
Hui direct lines:
808.326.9092 Kealani Winter
808.327.9792 Likeke Bumanglag

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