The State of Hawaii - Attn. Governor Josh Green

The Amazing Little Beach Experience


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Petition by
Bill Watts
Kihei, Hawaii

To: The State of Hawaii - Attn. Governor Josh Green
From: [Your Name]

We request the operational status of Pu’u Ola’i (Little) Beach, Maui be amended as follows:
♦ Provide authorized Clothing-Optional status with official signage.
♦ Restore pre-Covid opening hours: 5AM - 7:45PM, 365 days/year.


The rationale and justification are as follows:

1. Little Beach has been Maui’s premier Clothing-Optional beach for over 70 years.

2. Little Beach is remote from the city, isolated from view, and difficult to access. Those who prefer Clothing-Optional beaches gather there because they are considerate of those who could be affronted. Official Clothing-Optional signage will further ensure that no one is affronted.

3. Little Beach is 0.3% of Maui’s beaches and reduces or eliminates Clothing-Optional situations on the remaining 99.7% of Maui’s beaches.

4. An average of 300 people visit Little Beach daily, with about 50% clothed and 50% unclothed.

5. From 1987, for 33 years it was unwritten management policy to tolerate Clothing-Optional use. During that time, there were over 3 million day-visits, with no complaints by a person present on the beach and no citations being issued. Proof that Clothing-Optional does no harm.

6. Hawaii Revised Statutes include no laws that could prevent Clothing-Optional use at Little Beach because it is not likely to cause affront on a beach where Clothing-Optional is traditionally practiced.

7. Clothing-Optional beach recreation is non-sexual. Those who prefer to be clothing free, achieve happiness by being in nature in their natural state. The pursuit of happiness is an inalienable right under the Hawaiian Constitution.

8. The Clothing-Optional folks at Little Beach care for the environment and have cleaned up the beach for decades, never getting or needing help from the State Park management.

9. Since Covid, the State Park management has ordered DLNR police raids to issue citations under Hawaii State Park Rule §13-146-38 to suppress Clothing-Optional use. There is no benefit to the State. Fine upstanding citizens with no criminal record, doing no harm, are in fear of being criminalized. Those cited are dragged through the courts, accused of a petty misdemeanor. A petty misdemeanor carries a maximum fine of $1,000 and 30 days in jail and, if found guilty, results in a permanent criminal record. A motion to dismiss by a private attorney can cost $10,000. Those who prefer Clothing-Optional beaches want justice through recognition that they are law abiding citizens, hence the demand for official Clothing-Optional signage.

10. The State Park’s rule, §13-146-38, was first written (by bureaucrats) back around 1971 with no concept that the State Parks would ever acquire a traditional Clothing-Optional beach. Makena State Park was created by the grass roots SPAM (State Parks At Makena) movement in the 1980’s and 90’s to preserve the area in its natural state. Both clothed and unclothed beach goers fought to make Makena State Park a reality, never imagining that a future Park management would try to change the status quo.

11. The State Park's rule §13-146-38 is illegitimate because it exceeds the authority granted to the DLNR by the legislature. HRS §184-5 states: "The department may, subject to chapter 91, make, amend, and repeal rules having the force and effect of law, governing the "USE" and protection of the state park system..." Folks on Little Beach are performing the same USE as folks on Big Beach, e.g. sunbathing, swimming and surfing. Dress code is not USE.
Law protecting public order and morality remains under the authority of the Hawaii legislature. The legislature has sought to allow Clothing-Optional under HRS §707-734 Indecent Exposure. This allows Clothing-Optional where it is not likely to cause affront, i.e. on Little Beach where it is traditionally practiced.

12. State Park management’s suppression of Clothing-Optional cultural practice, is suppression of a cultural practice that was inherent to pre-contact Hawaiian culture in a DLNR-proposed Traditional Cultural Property.

13. State Park management’s suppression of Clothing-Optional cultural practice is also contrary to State Law. HRS §226-23 and HRS §226-25 require the State to: “provide resources to accommodate diverse cultural, artistic, and recreational needs” AND “provide a wide range of activities and facilities to fulfill the cultural, artistic, and recreational needs of all diverse and special groups effectively and efficiently” AND “encourage the essence of the aloha spirit in people's daily activities to promote harmonious relationships among Hawaii's people and visitors.” The State Park was in compliance up until 2020, providing resources to accommodate both Clothing-Optional and drum circle cultural practices.

14. The DLNR has recorded that there is considerable demand for Clothing-Optional beach recreation. In the 2021 statewide SCORP “Report on Public Participation” there was an overwhelming 68:1 demand for/against Clothing-Optional beach recreation with many scathing comments about the DLNR’s abuse of power by harassing those who choose to be clothing free at Little Beach. The tabulation of most participated water-based activities ranked Clothing-Optional Beaches #5 out of 16.

15. Those who prefer Clothing-Optional on Little Beach are a mix of visitors, Naturists that have relocated to Maui because of Little Beach, and many who own second homes pending retirement, and the folks that grew up here taking this freedom for granted. This is an affluent community that greatly benefits the tax base.

16. Naturism is widely practiced around the world and authorized Clothing-Optional beaches are common place - verifiable on Google. Sunshine destinations are vying for this business. Little Beach is an internationally recognized Top-10 naturist destination bringing visitors from every land, and therefore a significant contributor to Maui’s economy and the State’s GDP.

17. See proposed signage matching international standards here:

18. If you believe that government agencies should provide designated space for golfers, tennis players, horse riders, volleyball, skateboarders, dog park users, and others - then those who prefer Clothing-Optional beaches must have the right to a designated space. This is justice. We are an under-served demographic. A US National poll shows 45% of the population is open to Clothing-Optional beach recreation and 40% have already participated. 74% agree that Local and State governments should set aside public land for people who enjoy Clothing-Optional recreation. Ref:

19. It was under executive Order 4184 that Governor Lingle in 2006 incorporated the beach land into Makena State Park. An unintended consequence was that Little Beach was rendered subject to the State Park’s rule, §13-146-38. We call on Governor Green to exempt Little Beach from this rule, thereby granting Little Beach Clothing-Optional status.

20. The SPAM movement that created Makena State Park made an agreement with the DLNR that the Park would remain open to the public until 9PM, prior to which there was no curfew. To be present on an isolated beach, in nature, under the moon and stars, should be a basic human right. In 2006 the Maui local management instigated a 6PM closure, purely for their own “administrative convenience,” and there was public protest over this betrayal of trust. DLNR Chair, Peter Young, intervened and set a compromise closing time of 7:45PM, saying: “which would allow people to enjoy the park and enjoy the sunset and still give enough light to address the safety problems." The public lost part of their beach access rights. The 7:45PM closure time was maintained until Covid.

21. Under Covid rules Makena State Park opening hours were cut back to 7PM closure, and even more severely to 4PM closure on weekends at Little Beach. The remarkable and memorable Makena State Park sunset experience, that for decades was available to all and any, has been eliminated. Covid rules were cancelled but the restricted hours retained, purely for “administrative convenience.” Depriving the public of beach access for this purpose is unethical, and illegal under HRS 115, HRS §184-6 and the State Park’s own rule HAR §13-146-4.

22. The Little Beach 4 PM closure endangers the public by driving them onto Big Beach, the State’s most dangerous beach for spinal injuries, not to mention broken limbs and drownings - at a time when the lifeguards are packing up, ready for a prompt 4:30 PM departure.

23. Since March 13 2021, there were 274 occasions of armed police coming to close the beach at 4PM. We estimate that there have been about 41,000 instances of a clothing-optional person (doing no harm) forced to leave Little Beach at 4PM, against his/her will, with varying degrees of outrage at the injustice and frivolous waste of tax payer’s money. This has created widespread disdain for government.

24. Under State Park rules, to be present 1 minute after the posted closing time is a criminal offense which, if found guilty, results in a permanent criminal record. In contrast, Maui County beaches close at 8:00PM and it is legal to be present on the beaches until 10:00PM.

25. Virtually everyone who knows or goes to Little Beach is wondering if the government has lost its mind. There is so much real crime, so many homeless people, stretched essential services, with insufficient resources. Why would anyone want to spoil this beautiful way to connect with nature and remember what a gift it is to be alive.

26. Let it not be forgotten, the DLNR shall perform its State Park duties for a stated purpose: “for the use and enjoyment of the public” - ref. HRS §184-6.

Presented by:
Friends of Little Beach
A 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Corporation