Photo of Puananionaona (Onaona) P. Thoene
Partner / Honolulu

Puananionaona (Onaona) P. Thoene


Onaona Thoene is a Partner in the firm's Honolulu office and a member of its Real Property, Environmental, and Business & Corporate practice groups. Her practice also focuses on land use and administrative law. Onaona received a J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, William S. Richardson School of Law with certificates in environmental law and native Hawaiian law, and a B.B.A., cum laude, from the University of San Diego. She is fluent in Hawaiian.

Corporate Matters

  • Assisted clients in the payoff and refinancing of a 73 million dollar loan for a renewable energy facility.
  • Assisted clients with due diligence for the purchase and sale of commercial properties and development of utility scale solar projects throughout the State.

Environmental, Administrative and Land Use

  • Assisted client with research regarding non-covered source, covered source, and PSD permits.
  • Assisted client with research regarding enforcement of HRS Chapters 342D, 342H and 342J claims.
  • Board of Land and Natural Resources: Assisted clients with various matters related to renewal of a lease for state land, promulgation of agency rules, conservation district use permit, and contested case hearing.
  • State of Hawaii Land Use Commission: Represented clients in connection with amendments to district boundary applications for the development of utility scale solar energy facilities, and defense of an environmental impact statement.
  • Honolulu Planning Commission: Represented client in connection with a special use permit application for development of a utility scale solar energy facility.
  • Department of Planning and Permitting: Assisted client with conditional use permit application for an agricultural energy facility.
  • County of Hawaii Planning Commission: Assisted client with renewal and amendment of special permit to operate a quarry and recycling facility.
  • Kauai Planning Commission: Assisted client with special management area permit application proceedings.
  • State of Hawaii Department of Health: Assisted clients with response to notices of violation, and requests for contested case hearings.


  • Selected by attorney peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch 2023 for Administrative/Regulatory Law, Business Organizations (including LLC's and Partnerships), Energy Law, Environmental Law, Land Use and Zoning Law, and Litigation - Environmental Law; listed since 2021
  • Selected for inclusion in 2024 Hawaii Super Lawyers Rising Stars for Land Use/Zoning; listed since 2020
  • Chair, Environmental Council, State of Hawaii
  • Co-Editor-in-Chief, University of Hawaii Law Review, Volume 35
  • Staff Writer, University of Hawaii Law Review, Volume 34
  • CALI Excellence for the Future Award, State & Local Government, Fall 2012
  • Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing Award for the Best Environmental Law Topic for the Second Year Seminar Paper entitled House Resolution 910 "Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011": One Step Toward Economic Efficiency, Two Steps Back for Global Warming, Fall 2012
  • Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher Scholarship for Excellence in Contracts and Contributions to the UH Law School Community, Fall 2011
  • McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon Scholarship, Fall 2011


  • Hawaii State Bar Association
  • Prince Kuhio Hawaiian Civic Club
  • Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, Oahu Island Advisory Council


  • State v. Fields: Should a Declarant's Professed Memory Loss at Trial Satisfy the "Unavailability" Requirement Under Hawaii's Confrontation Clause, with Andrea Ushijima, 34 U. Haw. L. Rev. (2012)
  • Maybe She's Born With It? Maybe It's Gene Therapy?, with Kiyomi Labuguen, American Journal of Bioethics, Fall 2003