Kaiāulu ‘o Kaka‘ako Owners Association
About the KOK Association
The Kaiāulu ‘o Kaka‘ako Owners Association (KOK Association) is a nonprofit organization that works closely with Kamehameha Schools to ensure the overall Our Kaka‘ako community is an attractive, progressive, and desirable place to live, work, play, and visit. The KOK Association reviews plans for future development projects within the Kaiāulu ‘o Kaka‘ako Master Plan (KKMP) to ensure they take into account established guidelines that preserve the sense of continuity and cohesiveness. All owners of developed parcels within the KKMP community are members of the KOK Association.
This special place has attracted a diverse community of residents and businesses, a lasting trait from Kaka‘ako’s history rooted in industry, immigration, innovation, and identity. As Our Kaka‘ako continues to grow, the KOK Association remains committed to ensuring all residents benefit from living in this vibrant, urban island community that honors the Hawaiian values, culture, and sense of place that form its foundation.
Here’s what a few residents have to say about living in Our Kaka‘ako:
“I like that everything’s very walkable here. It feels safe. It feels welcoming. It has a lot of cool energy about this area.”
“It’s a really exciting urban community, and it’s a place where people can get a taste of being integrated with local culture, local people, and some unique stores and shops here.” – Monica
“It’s a very interesting cross section of people. We thought it was going to be a lot of folks from elsewhere, but it’s a lot of folks from Hawai‘i like ourselves who are empty nesters, or they just want a change and come into town and enjoy all the nice things that are here.“ – Kevin
Honolulu Night Market: Mahina Māhealani
An epic fusion of culture and community came together at the Honolulu Night Market: Mahina Māhealani, presented by Hawaiian Airlines Bank of Hawaii®️ World Elite Mastercard®️, as the heart of Our Kakaʻako district was brought to life on June 3, 2023. Mahina Māhealani, the event’s theme, inspired by the 16th phase of the Hawaiian lunar calendar, was a nod to the rich cultural heritage of the islands and the evening’s full moon.
The streets were abuzz as over 60 local vendors dished up delicious island fare and showcased innovative products. From Sushi King Kaka‘ako to Da Bald Guy, a flavorful picture of the island’s diverse culinary palette was on display. The air was filled with live music, courtesy of the Haku Collective, Dillon Pakele’s band, DJ Compose, DJ Mau and rising island-reggae music star Likkle Jordee. It wouldn’t be Honolulu Night Market without a fashion show. The main stage runway featured the islands’ first fashion designer, Nakeʻu Awai, and his iconic work, with [EP-IK] Style and Iwi Nails from Molokaʻi turning heads and capturing hearts as the sunset added a vibrant backdrop.
Honolulu Night Market: Mahina Māhealani was more than just an event. It was a true Our Kakaʻako experience – a vibrant celebration of the community’s spirit, a tapestry woven with threads of history, culture, and the unmistakable rhythm of island life.
Keiki Street Festival
In March of 2023, KOKA helped to launch the first-ever Keiki Street Festival in the Our Kaka’ako district of Honolulu. This inaugural event offered a full-day of experiences for ‘ohana to explore Hawaiian culture, support local businesses, and most of all have fun!
Our culturally rooted theme inspired the day, with vendors who offered locally-made and sourced products such as Laulima Conservation apparel and Keiki Kaukau toy food sets, MANA Comics helping keiki make their own local superheroes, and an interactive wave simulation by local non-profit partner AccesSurf, who help create opportunities for all people to have access to ocean sports. The festival successfully brought together over 8,000 attendees to experience the district and learn more about Hawaiian culture, which is the foundation of this community.
Bark in the Park
Attendees were offered a variety of pet-centric products from local vendors who came from across the island to the district. Pups and their people also took part in workouts together, enjoyed a dog costume contest, a “best trick” competition, and took home the memories at a special furry photo booth. Bark in the Park was a great way for the local community to celebrate their love for animals while connecting other pet lovers and supporting local pet-focused businesses.
Cultural Events Series Sponsored by KOK Association
The KOK Association is wholly sponsoring a new series of recurring cultural events, workshops, activities, and performances that will feature Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander artists, artisans, music, films, and more!
The first in the series was the Hawaiian Crafts Workshop & Sale in December 2022 featuring four traditional crafts classes taught by seasoned cultural practitioners.
Students learned how to make traditional Hawaiian kapa design, ‘ohe kāpala (wooden stamps used for kapa design) carving, cord braiding, and lauhala bracelet weaving. The kumu (teachers) also held a sale for their handmade pieces — perfect timing for holiday gift shopping.
In the months to come, the Kaiāulu ‘o Kaka‘ako Owners Association looks forward to offering more cultural events and activities benefiting the Our Kaka‘ako neighborhood.
The Our Kaka‘ako community is located in the former ‘ili of Ka‘ākaukukui and has a history grounded in Native Hawaiian values, cultural diversity, industry, and entrepreneurship. These are reflected in the fabric of our neighborhood, from building names and architecture to artwork, green spaces, and mix of small businesses. Learn more about the historical evolution of this region by watching The History of Our Kaka‘ako video.
To celebrate the historical and cultural origins of the Kaka‘ako region, Our Kaka‘ako collaborated with Chef Mark Noguchi on a three-part documentary video series called Look to the Source: Nānā I Ke Kumu that focuses on the connection between Hawaiian culture, history, and the food we grow and consume locally. The short videos highlight local cuisine, local farms, and a featured Our Kaka‘ako restaurant where “Chef Gooch” and the restaurant’s chef prepare dishes while talking story.
There is an ‘ōlelo no‘eau, a traditional Hawaiian saying: “nānā i ke kumu,” which means, “look to the source.” This is the title of the series because it beautifully expresses the notion that knowing where we come from grounds us in the culture and values that will shape our future.
We hope you enjoy watching the Look to the Source videos as well as the Behind the Scenes video.
The KOK Association sponsors district-wide programs, events, and activities that promote social engagement, cultural and educational opportunities, innovation and entrepreneurism, and community health and well-being. Sponsored events include the very popular Honolulu Night Market, ‘Ohana Stargazing, Bark in the Park, Honolulu Food & Wine Festival and more.
The Honolulu Night Market made its exhilarating return in June 2022 after a two-year hiatus to a crowd of thousands, all excited to experience everything that Our Kaka‘ako has to offer: “onolicious” food, trendy fashion, and spirited entertainment in an open-air block party spanning Keawe and Auahi Streets, SALT at Our Kaka‘ako, and Kaloko‘eli Courtyard. At the Honolulu Night Market: Summer Kickoff hosted by Shaka by CPB, attendees enjoyed a fashion show by talented local design house Ola Hou Designs, fresh from its New York City Fashion Week debut, an energetic bboy street dance competition courtesy of the Style Monarchs, indoor soccer games and a keiki clinic with Paradise Soccer Club, and a bevy of up-and-coming musicians, including Kennedy Taylor and the Electric Pancakes, TheBrewz, Made to Order, and Lovejack. Alongside all this, 60+ pop-up retailers and food tents and trucks served up an array of mouthwatering cuisines and handcrafted merchandise. The Kaiāulu ‘o Kaka‘ako Owners Association was pleased to sponsor the event, along with presenting sponsor Shaka by Central Pacific Bank, corporate sponsor Hawaiian Electric, and radio partners 102.7 Da Bomb and 94.7 KUMU.
The next Honolulu Night Market was held in November 2022 with the theme “Rooted,” focusing on the importance of supporting Hawai‘i’s food system and celebrating cultural diversity grounded in the values of our heritage, traditions, and placekeeping. Keeping with that theme, Our Kaka‘ako partnered with Poi for the People, an initiative by Kamehameha Schools, to host pa‘i‘ai (traditionally pounded cooked kalo root) demonstrations and offer free samples of pa‘i‘ai, pickled onion, and smoked meat with kalo hash. In the season of giving, Our Kaka‘ako also partnered with AccesSurf to help raise awareness of their important mission to empower people with disabilities through adaptive water sports and programs. Additionally, AccesSurfers took the main stage as models in the fashion show featuring clothing and accessories by STONE, Oceans End Hawaii, and Sweet Enemy Clothing. The evening was filled with live music by local, up-and-coming musicians, while The Barn was full of vibrant color thanks to the work of Worldwide Walls (formerly POW! WOW! Hawai‘i) artists. Three huge coloring book walls sponsored by Hawaiʻi State Federal Credit Union became community art installations for the holidays.
We are pleased to bring our community together, support local small businesses, and celebrate our island way of life. Stay tuned for our next Honolulu Night Market, which we anticipate in the summer!
Blending modern astronomy with traditional Hawaiian wayfinding and mo‘olelo (stories), ‘Ohana Stargazing gathered hundreds of people of all ages under the stars to explore the constellations and their significance to life on earth and Polynesian voyaging. Visitors enjoyed tours of the night sky through powerful telescopes as well as virtual wayfinding, keiki crafts, a live star compass mural painting, and walks through a scaled model of the solar system. Seeing so many enthusiastic stargazers join us, Our Kaka‘ako anticipates hosting an encore event on a clear night in the future.
These events draw Our Kaka‘ako residents, kama‘āina, and visitors alike to the community; support tenant businesses; and create an engaging, lively atmosphere for all. Other sponsored activities include pet-friendly events, community cleanups, scavenger hunts, talk stories, and music concerts. The KOK Association also subsidizes the free WiFi access available throughout the neighborhood’s nine mauka blocks.