REPORT FROM OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS — The Hawai‘i Legislature today passed a bill that allows the state to transfer to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs 10 parcels of mostly waterfront property in Kaka‘ako Makai valued at an estimated $200 million. In response to the passing of this legislation, OHA Chairperson Colette Machado released the below statement:
“The Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees thanks the legislature for quickly passing this historic piece of legislation, just two-thirds of the way through the legislative session.
“We especially thank Senate President Shan Tsutsui, House Speaker Calvin Say, the chairs of all of the committees that heard the bill and all legislators, especially the Native Hawaiian Caucus. They have all worked hard to get this bill passed.
“In addition, we thank Gov. Neil Abercrombie for championing this cause and making it a priority to resolve this longstanding issue. We look forward to working with community groups, which have spent years protecting and caring for Kaka‘ako Makai, like the Friends of Kewalos and members of the former Kaka‘ako Community Advisory Planning Council, to develop a master plan for these 10 parcels.
“We would like to thank the Native Hawaiian organizations that came together to support this important measure such as the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Hawaiian Civic Clubs, the Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Home Lands Assembly, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement and Kamehameha Schools. It is because of their efforts that we have reached this historic settlement.
“We are committed to making sure the land is used in a thoughtful way that will benefit the entire community. We will balance cultural and environmental considerations with the need to support programs that benefit the Native Hawaiian community. We strongly believe that our success is tied to the community’s vision for Kaka‘ako.