Focus Maui Nui is a community process seeking the input of local citizens in a discussion about what residents want for the future of our islands (Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe) which together make up Maui Nui and Maui County.
The project is designed to bring individuals, organizations, and communities throughout the county together to identify and prioritize shared values and to send clear messages to local leaders about what we want for our islands, our communities, and our future.
The ultimate goal of Focus Maui Nui is twofold:
- To create one cohesive vision for the future, based on the priorities and values of everyday residents countywide on jobs, the environment, education, housing, and more.
- To hold leaders in government, business, and the community accountable to this vision, creating a tangible link between residents’ hopes and dreams and the decisions that are made about the future of our islands.
In summer 2003, Focus Maui Nui brought together a diverse cross-section of nearly 1,700 residents to discuss their values and priorities. Over three months, 167 small group discussions took place in neighborhood homes, churches, shopping centers and workplaces, with each group ultimately developing a list of key strategies that could shape Maui’s future. The Five Key Strategies for Action included:
- Improve Education
- Protect the natural environment, including our water resources
- Address infrastructure challenges especially housing and transportation
- Adopt targeted economic development strategies
- Preserve local culture and address community health concerns such as substance abuse.
Community leaders have pledged to uphold the findings of this process and to make decisions based on the vision that emerges. In 2004, county administrators and planners successfully adopted the findings into their Ten-Year Plan for Maui County.