BREAKING: Governor Appoints Lindsey to Maui OHA Seat

January 16, 2012, 1:59 PM HST · Updated January 16, 3:42 PM
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Hulu Lindsey, in her Aha Hui Ka'ahumanu regalia. File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Governor Neil Abercrombie is expected to announce his appointment of Carmen Kahulumealani “Hulu” Lindsey tomorrow as Maui’s newest trustee to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Lindsey will fill the post that was vacated by retired judge Boyd Mossman, who resigned on November 2, 2011 to fulfill a church calling in Kona.

“Without question, I am very excited and very pleased that the governor had the confidence in me,” said Lindsey who said she was “humbled” by the appointment in a phone interview today.

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Lindsey, will be sworn into office at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, January 17, 2012, at the OHA Office on Oahu.

“The Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs have a fiduciary duty to serve their Hawaiian beneficiaries and to make the critical decisions that relate not only to trust management, but program development and implementation, cultural and historic preservation and undertakings in many diverse areas,” said Lindsey.

Lindsey also expressed a commitment to advance the status and better the conditions of Native Hawaiian beneficiaries, saying she is committed to making herself available and welcomes input and concerns.

“I firmly believe in and support the mission of OHA to raise and strengthen our people. I look forward to working collectively and supportively to achieve this goal,” she said.

Lindsey will serve the 11 months remaining on Mossman’s term, and will not be seeking re-election when the seat surfaces again at the end of this year.

“Shortly after the meeting on Maui, the governor made a statement that the person he appoints will not be able to run for re-election.  I have agreed not to run,” she said.

Lindsey has lived on Maui for the past 40 years, but grew up in Waimea and Keaukaha on Hawaii Island.  “Our ohana was raised steeped in Hawaiian culture; and I have striven in my lifetime to perpetuate our cultural values and to pass on to my children the priceless legacy and rich heritage of our Hawaiian language, music and performing arts,” she said.

Lindsey, who has performed for many years as an entertainer continues to be involved with her daughters’ halau, Halau Na Lei Kaumaka O Uka.  “Both daughters are practitioners of our Hawaiian culture and I totally support them in their perpetuation,” she said.

“Hawaiian culture has always a part of our lives,” said Lindsey, who is also an 18-year member of the Aha Hui Ka’ahumanu, Royal Hawaiian Society.

Lindsey also has previous experience in business, with her prior employment as a Properties Administrator with Maui Land & Pineapple Co.

“This included assisting homeowners, particularly pineapple growers–many of them Hawaiian–in getting homes for themselves by helping them with financing, and going to California and working with the federal agencies to allow financing for our agricultural workers,” said Lindsey.

During her time with the company, Lindsey also helped workers in the Napili area when Maui Land & Pineapple decided to Quiet Title many of their lands.  “I alerted them so that they could make sure that their paper work was in tact, so that they could keep their lands,” said Lindsey.

In addition to her years in business and entertainment, Lindsey also served as an Administrator of the County of Maui’s Land Use and Codes Department and spent 30-plus years as a realtor.

The experience, Lindsey said, has given her, “a depth of knowledge regarding land management, preservation and development and related issues and will provide me with the understanding of the obligations and responsibilities of public officials.”

“I am pleased that I will be able to take a new venture and represent our people here on Maui–as well as statewide,” she said.   “I am extremely grateful to the governor for the confidence he has placed in me and for the opportunity to serve my Hawaiian beneficiaries.”

The governor was given the task of appointing a Maui trustee after the OHA board reached an impasse last month.  Others that were considered for the post during the trustee vote were: Mark Kaniela Ing, Rose Marie Duey, and Mercer “Chubby” Vicens.

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