OHA Candidates Haunani Apoliona and Cal Lee Fail to Show at Community Forums

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OHA report card

BY MICHELLE YIP, JD – Last night my alma mater, the University of Hawaii Richardson Law School, hosted a forum for candidates in the race for Trustee-at-large of OHA (Office of Hawaiian Affairs).

I was especially proud to be associated with candidate Dr. Keli’i Akina.


However, it was disappointing that Dr. Akina’s main opponents once again failed to participate and face the public.

By now, their lack of attendance has become a pattern–one that should give the public a clue as to what they can expect from them in terms of engaging on the issues and promoting transparency.

See their “Report Card” below.

Michelle Yip, J.D. is the Social Media Director for Akina for OHA





  1. WELL-DESERVED PRAISE TO MAKEKAU & RITTE… Thanks for the accurate report, but let me also share my great respect for my opponents Keali'i Makekau and Walter Ritte who have both made a genuine effort to attend as many events as they could. They have made themselves available to the public for open interaction, and they have been willing, in the forum context, to present their ideas and debate with me. To see us all in action, check-out one of the two-hour forums recorded by 'Oiwi TV at http://www.OiwiTV.com.

    • Dr. Akina?, perhaps your Social Media Director, Ms. Yip, should tell the "full truth" about my absence from the the UH Law School Forum. Forum Organizers were gracious enough to invite me to provide a written statement for the Forum which they were to deliver to the audience. I prepared a transmitted that brief statement…..in that statement I explained I was not able to attend the UH Forum on October 22 because I was on Kauaʻi for Apoliona campaign activity on that date. Unfortunately, the UH Forum had only been determined about a week and a half earlier.
      My absence from the Honolulu Community College Forum was due to the fact that I was doing my job as OHA Trustee At Large attending to OHA Trustee business as our Trustee Committee meeting, convened on that date, overlapped the time of the HCC Forum. Perhaps with this added factual information, statements from the Akina campaign social media director may be placed in proper and more accurate perspective. Mahalo a nui loa.

  2. Dear Trustee Apoliona,
    Thank you for your clarification of the absences; however, the factual point is that Dr. Akina has successfully attended every public event. We will be glad to add your explanatory comments to the record maintained on our website. By the way, from our records the University of Hawaii Law School provided notice of the event to the candidates near the beginning of October–we thank the UH Law School for running a well-organized and informative forum.
    On behalf of the Akina for OHA Campaign,
    Michelle Yip, Social Media Director

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