Maui Travel Advice Wanting Following Governor's Monologue

Maui Travel Advice Wanting Following Governor’s Monologue

Yesterday, much of the state, its travel partners and visitors were waiting with bated breath to understand better what’s ahead in the Lahaina fire recovery first and foremost, and as it relates to Maui travel. As well as promised guidance from the governor. That, however, didn’t happen.

On Tuesday, Josh Green said, “I’ll be making a much broader announcement and have a broader discussion about this on Friday in a statewide address. But we want people to travel to the state to the extent that they’re not impacting the hard work that these extraordinary people are doing (supporting disaster recovery).”

What was said by Hawaii Governor about Maui travel.

“We ask that people please not travel to the area affected by the disaster in West Maui until further notice, except for returning residents and authorized emergency relief workers.

However, all other areas of Maui and the rest of Hawai‘i are safe and open to visitors, and we continue to welcome and encourage travel to our beautiful state, which will support the local economy and help speed the recovery of those who have already suffered so much.”

Gov. Josh Green, M.D.

The short (less than 10 minutes) address was initially placed in the context of offering residents and visitors both “critical updates.” There was, however, nothing of that nature in terms of further details and what to expect.

Kaanapali and Kapalua Resorts on Maui are not mentioned.

West Maui includes not only devastated Lahaina, but also the famous Kaanapali and Kapalua resort communities. The fire did not impact their structures, and the road to them is again open to the public. We know that some of the resorts at Kaanapali hoped the Governor would officially state when guests would be welcomed back. When that didn’t happen, they were left wondering about their next steps and if they needed to act without state guidance.

Are critically important Maui fire press conferences on hold for now?

After many contentious questions and defensive answers that followed the Maui fires at the most recent press conferences and the rolling of heads after the last one, the governor changed format, at least for now, to a safer style monologue he has used in past days.

The news about the Maui fires has left those of us who live in Hawaii still reeling. Few here are untouched by the disaster. Beat of Hawaii editors have seen four familes of friends and relatives left homeless, while others we know are still missing loved ones. Honestly, we go on, but we are simply no loonger the same. And, as much as we remain focused on the devastation, we can’t help but be left wanting for more answers as to how this happened, at whose hands it did, and how we can prevent similar disasters in the future.

Difficult press conferences are vital following disasters like the Lahaina fire.

First, they are essential for coordinating information between officials and the public. They provide a way for the public to hear directly from those responsible for the disaster recovery on Maui. It helps to stop us from wondering what is going on by keeping us informed. Pressing questions can address issues officials would rather avoid.

A spokesperson for Maui County admonishes reporters to “be gentle with us.”

The spokesperson has said on multiple occasions to be gentle with county and state officials at press conferences. She has even suggested that by doing so, it is somehow a form of Aloha to do so.

We can’t help but wonder if that isn’t misguided and that Aloha is actually better represented in the pointed questions being asked about the fire and the failed response. For example, why there was no water available to fight the Lahaina fire, why emergency sirens were not sounded, and why critical emergency employees were allowed to vacation at the same time.

Is transparency missing after the Lahaina fire?

Open press conferences are critical to providing much-needed government transparency and insights into all aspects of the Lahaina fire disaster and the recovery. Press conferences let media ask questions that citizens want to know answers to, and obtain clarification. This helps reassure Hawaii constituents and stakeholders that critical issues are being addressed.

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34 thoughts on “Maui Travel Advice Wanting Following Governor’s Monologue”

  1. Don’t blame the Gov it was the local public sector that underperformed, along with local celebrities telling people to stay away.

    1. Hawaii has no marketable resources, except agriculture, which they’ve done their best to kill. Tourism is their only viable product and tourism can’t be exported. So good luck to the governor and to his fantasy of moving the state beyond tourism. We’ve been visiting the islands for over forty years. During that time, we’ve noticed a trend of distain and resentment towards tourists. It would behoove Hawaiians to restore the spirit of aloha before they kill their only cash cow. There are alot of other beautiful places to visit.

  2. Is someone going to cover the large discrepancy between the amount of people missing (1000+) and the number of recorded deaths (114)? It seems odd to me that the gov says they have “searched 79%” of the area and only found this many dead. Could you cover this in an article? Thanks so much!

  3. For people who are homeless hope you provide a place for them to live at least for a year.Money that’s going for relief I hope and pray that money goes to the..Build tiny homes or something.. Please help them..I pray for y’all and safety..Pray for the loss..My heart is with you..May God bless you each..Hugs Thank you

  4. I have a trip booked the end of January to kaanapolia Beach hotel. Not sure if I should cancel as I do not want to disrespect the Hawaii culture.

  5. With titles come responsibilities and unfortunately, many Failed the innocent people in Lahaina and not they need to be adults and accept the consequences! AS the study after hurricane Lance showed, all of the or lots of it could have been prevented and even then, Governor Green who was a LT Governor then, knew of all of this! Shame on them!

    1. Yes, it seems like every August has been ‘hurricane season’ for the last decade at least. The West Side fire during Hurricane Lane in 2018 seems to have started pretty much the same way, and seemed very serious… until now. That 2018 fire was almost nothing compared to this, but it should have been a constructive lesson. One person died, homes were lost, and lives turned upside down.

      The cries that “this has never happened before”, and “how could we have known?” just don’t ring true for me. Praying for courage in our leaders to work together for a better future. “The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness” King Kamehameha III

  6. Aloha and please come to Kahana. Nothing is burned out here. We have vacancies and the individual owners of our units would all say, “E komo mai” – Welcome!

    Bring your children before they have to return to school. Much of the area of northern West Maui is pristine and beautiful.

    Mahalo in advance for supporting our economy, which has become even more important to Maui due to recent unspeakable losses. Our hearts and minds, thoughts and prayers are with our friends who have lost loved ones, homes, and livelihoods. E hana kakou to improve Maui and move forward together.

    1. The official use of the Maui sirens is for tsunamis, wild fires and any other urgent public alert that needs to be issued. No one is blaming the sirens, which were in good working condition. Sirens do not turn themselves on automatically but maybe this could be programmed into the system as a future improvement. Then we will not need to rely on a human who decides that people are too stupid to know not to rush in the direction of a burning area.

      1. You are wrong. The sirens are exclusively for tsunamis. That was their original intention and people were trained to run to the hills (in direction of fire). Many more would’ve died. He should be hailed as a hero.

        1. Hi Charles.

          To clarify, here’s what the governor said today. “Do I wish those sirens went off? Of course I do. And I think that the answer that the- the emergency administrator for Maui, who has resigned, said was, of course, utterly unsatisfactory to the world. But it is the case that- that we’ve historically not used those kinds of warnings or fires.”


          1. Lol. Politicians always feel for the direction of wind before talking. The guy who didn’t sound the sirens was not an elected official and did not deserve to be the scapegoat. The people of Maui have learned a great lesson. Don’t just fight for the proper use of the land. Fight for proper infrastructure like underground power lines, both tsunami sirens and fire sirens, and better access roads into and out of Lahaina.

        2. The sirens were used as a pre warning prior to Hurricane Iniki’s devastation of Kauai-the sirens gave Kauai residents an early warning of the impending disaster

  7. My prayers and thoughts are with the Lahainians people. I feel so blessed that my son could come visit us and I could put my arms around him. He considers Lahaina to now be his home for the last 5 years. Others were not as fortunate as my family.


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