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  • David Popham

Understanding Land Holdings of the Hawai‘i Conference Foundation

Originally published in the Coconut Wireless, February 9, 2022.


Message from Our Conference Minister

One of the most pressing issues within the Conference is the land holdings of the Hawai‘i Conference Foundation. This is also one of the most misunderstood issues within the Conference as well. There are at least two points at which the perceptions of the land holdings of the Foundation are far from the reality.

One misperception is the number of acres held by the Foundation. When I arrived, I was routinely told that the Foundation was one of the top ten land holding entities on the islands. According to the State of Hawai‘i Data Book 2017, here are the top landholders in the State:

  1. The Hawai‘i State Government – 1,574,530.8 acres

  2. The U.S. Federal Government –531,444 acres

  3. Kamehameha Schools – 363,244.5 acres

  4. Parker Ranch – 105.995.6 acres

  5. Robinson Family – 101,287.7 acres

  6. Pulama Lanai – 89,075.1 acres

  7. Alexander & Baldwin – 86,514.1 acres

  8. Molokai Ranch – 53,797.5 acres

  9. County Governments – 28,127.7 acres

  10. Grove Farms – 20,837.2 acres

  11. Haleakala Ranch – 29,167.3 acres

  12. Maui Land & Pine – 22,534.9 acres

  13. Yee Hop – 21,636.4 acres

  14. Dole Food Company – 19,782.9 acres

  15. Ulupalakua Ranch – 18,372.2 acres

  16. W.H. Shipman – 16,798.9 acres

  17. Kahuku Aina Properties – 16,423.1 acres

  18. McCandless Ranch – 15,365.4 acres

  19. E.C. Olson – 13,744.2 acres

  20. The Nature Conservancy – 13,357.6 acres

In comparison to the top twenty landholders in Hawai‘i, the Foundation holds 2,700 acres.

The second misperception is that the land brings in millions of dollars each year. The reality is that the Craigside property generates $964,448 but costs the Foundation $1,104,536 in expenses, meaning the Foundation supplements Craigside by $104,088. Likewise, with all other land holdings, they generate $345,654 in funds but cost $476,312 in expenses, which leaves a loss of $130,658. All total, the Foundation spends $234,746 in maintenance and management fees, insurance, depreciation, professional fees, and taxes that is not covered by the revenue generated from the lands.

I think it is important that we hold the correct understanding of these holdings so that we can accurately understand our piece in the Hawaiian puzzle and the piece of the puzzle the land holdings provide for the Hawai‘i Conference.

David K. Popham, Conference Minister


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