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OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Archived: 2016 OHA Moloka‘i Trustee candidates

UPDATE: 2020 OHA Molokaʻi & Lānaʻi Trustee candidate info can be found here.

2016 Community questions

Q1. What opportunities to do you see for OHA and its Board of Trustees to help improve the physical, mental, and spiritual health of our lahui?

– Aukahi Austin Seabury, Ph.D. Psychologist, Executive Director

Q2. What is your strategy for achieving nation building?

– Vicky Holt Takamine, Kumu hula

Q3. Many of the most pressing issues facing the lahui—such as climate change, and health and wealth disparities—are a part of global dynamics. How do we use our mana and ancestral values to help solve these contemporary, complex and pressing issues?

– Kamuela Enos, Sustainable agriculture and indigenous enterprise advocate

Candidate answers


➤➤ Q1 Response: My vision for OHA and its Board of Trustees is helping and advocating for the Hawaiian people and our counterparts. In our lāhui we are struggling and I feel the reason for this is a lack of communication. Our communication needs to advance in order for the voices of the islands of Moloka‘i and Lana‘i to be heard. When communication is effective, our lāhui can grow in physical, mental, and spiritual health.

➤➤ Q2 Response: For the Hawaiian people and our counterparts, my strategy is to rely on the experiences of our Hawaiian leaders of the past and how they were with the people. Our leaders would keep the people informed whether the information was good or bad. Also, they would Mālama the ‘Āina and the kūpuna as a whole, while nourishing and embracing all that were in need. Our Hawaiian People needs to know that the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) is not a dance party, but an entity within the State and Government that is there for the people and not the paycheck.

➤➤ Q3 Response: The use of our mana and ancestral values was always done by everyone working for the better. Our past Leaders were very fundamental and educated in the details of our counterparts–yes our Beloved Queen was overthrown, but this was done to not allow bloodshed to our people. We must love ourselves and the people to move forward in this day and age. OHA and the people of Hawai‘i needs to come together and form a unity that will allow us to tackle the climate, health, wealth and any other pressing issues in our community.


➤➤ Q1 Response: Stop the Memorandum of Agreements between OHA, the State of Hawai‘i. We the people need to consensus the issues and concerns of our Lāhui. Memorandums of Agreement destroy the physical, mental and spiritual fabric of our Kanaka Maoli Culture, customs and traditions.

➤➤ Q2 Response: Total Independence and Sovereignty comes from us, not the State or Federal level. Recognition is there, stop the illusion!  Trust is necessary because without trust we cannot move forward.

➤➤ Q3 Response: Living on Kuleana kai we have personally experienced neglicient permitting by the government and the non enforcement of the non-permittees who have destroyed our life giving environment and it continues. We live on an island 32 miles long and 10 miles wide at its widest. Whatever happens mauka affects the kai/moana immediately. Who’s enforcing the Clean Water Act and all it’s grey areas pertaining to Hawaii nei? If we cannot save and protect our own immediate environment how can we think or act on global. It’s like our people. If we cannot take care of the one, how can we take care of the many? Health disparities are a sad fact. If you have wealth most likely you will have good health. The rest of us will have to accept whats given. Disparity of wealth deserves a forum of it’s own. There’s all kinds of wealth according to each worldwide Culture and I’m not going to comment on it at this time. Our Queen Liliuokalani once said “Aloha is for our Lāhui, ano ai is for everybody else.” As the indigenous people of these islands called Hawai‘i nei, we have shared our custom and belief in Aloha to everyone else. However, if we pertain it to a global issue we must have our own sovereign nation. We need our seat back at the United Nations table! Our Mana, Our Ancestral values and standards can only be shared in that way. Not by the State of Hawaii or the United States of America. What is ours is ours, what is theirs is theirs. In conclusion, I say, look to the past to protect our future!


➤➤ Q1 Response: Your Board of Trustees must establish a strong fiscal sustainability plan to accommodate unplanned expenditures that provide on going services to its beneficiaries.  Trustees must pledge to assure a strong and healthy organization along with a solid bottom line in order to insure that our constitutional and statutorily rights are acknowledged and upheld by the State of Hawai‘i. Diminishing resources both at the State and Federal level places an undue burden on services to Hawaiians. OHA will be asked to fund unplanned expenditures. This includes litigation incurred in lawsuits resulting from OHA’s perceived involvement.

➤➤ Q2 Response: Stay the course! OHA was established by the 1978 Constitutional Convention to be a trust vehicle to act on behalf of Native Hawaiians until a Native Hawaiian governing entity could be reestablished. Prior to and since OHA’s inception, Native Hawaiians have fought for State and Federal recognition to protect our traditional and customary rights. There has been a few successes however, the pursuit of self governance and federal recognition has endured. Act 195, 2011 Hawaii Session Laws (Act 195) was created to recognize Native Hawaiians as the only indigenous, aboriginal, maoli population of Hawai‘i.  In Act 195, the State of Hawai‘i made clear that it supports not only recognition, but also the self governance of Native Hawaiians. “It is….the States desire to support the continuing development of a reorganized Native Hawaiian governing entity and ultimately, the federal recognition of Native Hawaiians”.

➤➤ Q3 Response: Rely on ancestral knowledge and communal practices.  Treasure your kūpuna.  Keep your hands down, Hana kalima, building safe shelters classrooms and Hana ka ‘aina, plant food to nourish the ‘ohana. Aloha Ikekahikekahi, love one another. In Hana, Maui, Maka Hana Ka ‘Ike (In Working One Learns), has developed community based, culturally  relevant  programs.  These young people who are turning to ‘ike kūpuna to make life better for everyone from school age keiki to the kūpuna while improving their quality of life for their community. Also integrated into this program is a building program that has already constructed, 15 school buildings, 35 kūpuna cottages and much needed  repairs and accessible improvements for the handicapped.  Mahele Farm, sustainable ‘āina to feed the community produced 24,000 lbs. of produce annually. All of which is distributed with aloha to those in need. Another connected component is the Ku‘i Club which gathers ever Thursday with membership up to  35-40 students that prepare and pound their own fresh pa‘i together.

View Candidate responses by race

OHA TRUSTEE Hawai‘i candidates
OHA TRUSTEE Moloka‘i candidates
OHA TRUSTEE Kaua‘i candidates
OHA TRUSTEE At-Large candidates


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