“OHA Under Attack from Out of State” is an Irresponsible Claim

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By Keli’i Akina, Ph.D. – The Star-Advertiser ran a guest editorial by Derek Kauanoe on November 18, 2012 entitled “OHA Under Attack by Out of State Interests.”

Nowhere in the article is any person or group specifically identified as the out of state interest referred to in the title because there is no such party.


Instead, the article insinuates that OHA must be under attack because some donations from individuals residing out of state were made to my 2012 campaign to become an OHA Trustee-at-large.

What  the article fails to reveal is that the amount in question, contributed by 9 individuals currently away from Hawaii, is only $3,725, hardly enough to constitute a threat to OHA.  Furthermore, $600 of this amount was given by 5 of my relatives and personal friends, and $3,125 was given by 4 individuals who either grew up in Hawaii or studied at the University of Hawaii and are now working on the mainland and overseas.

Yes, follow the money; the money contributed by these individuals represents, not an attack upon OHA or Hawaiians, but an investment and return to our State by people who carry the Aloha spirit across the world.   The article goes on and cites opinions about OHA from some unspecified contributors to my campaign and suggests inaccurately that they must therefore be my opinions or positions.  To this, I simply refer readers to my campaign website (www.Akina2012.com) for accurate and authorized statements of where I stand.

The claim that OHA is under out of state attack is irresponsible because of the damage it does to the public square where ideas should be debated robustly and on the basis of fact, not on the basis of fears of some unseen enemy.   To falsely associate a Trustee candidate with an attack upon OHA may be a veiled attempt to incite fear and reaction amongst Hawaiians for the shallow purpose of political gain.  Unfortunately, this kind of politics and journalism, which fails to base its claims on fact, tears apart the social fabric and generates racial disunity.  That is why I continue to campaign for the Hawaiian way of Aloha – Aloha for everyone.


Dr. Keli’i Akina is a philosopher who lectures on human rights and business ethics in Chinese and American universities.  He was a 2012 candidate for Trustee-at-large in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.  His e-mail address is kelii@EWLE.net and his website is https://hpu.academia.edu/WilliamKeliiAkina.







  1. He wasn't talking about your campaign. He was talking about Cal Lee. Your "OHA for everyone" campaign was a direct frontal attack on OHA which is constitutionally mandated to work for the betterment of Native Hawaiians, and only Hawaiians.

  2. Aloha "Ninau 808",

    Thank you for your interest. Kindly allow me to correct three errors in your statement.

    First, Derek Kauanoe is definitely referring to me in his editorial. He cites specific donation percentages from the public record which match my campaign and he acknowledged the fact directly when I contacted him.

    Secondly, "OHA for Everyone" is not an attack on OHA but a visionary statement of inclusiveness, consistent with the Hawaiian value of Aloha for Everyone (Aloha kekahi i kekahi.) By Constitutional Law, OHA is for everyone to vote in and OHA is for everyone to hold accountable. OHA can fulfill its fiduciary mission to benefit Native Hawaiians in a way that serves the greater good of society, without taking anything away from Native Hawaiians.

    Third, nowhere in the State Constitution, as you claim, nor in the mission statement of OHA, will you find the statement that OHA is for "…only Hawaiians." I invite you to read what I do say on the matter in my policy statements at http://www.Akina2012.com.

    I hope you and I, as fellow citizens, can work together to generate Aloha for Everyone.

    Malama pono, my friend. – Keli'i Akina

  3. Damn! Too bad you didn't get elected. Maybe you could have expanded your " Aloha for Everyone" agenda to not only those in the Hawaiian Islands, but to your outside contributors where ever they are! Imagine that, using the money generated by the hardworking people in Hawaii, and distributing it to your friends across the world. Now THAT..would be the TRUE execution of your ALOHA FOR EVERYONE agenda!!

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