Maui News

OHA Hosts Statewide Meetings With Focus on Nation Building

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OHA. File photo by Wendy Osher.

OHA. File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Maui Now Staff

A total of nearly 200 people attended town hall meetings hosted by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs this week in Lahaina on Maui, Nānākuli on Oʻahu, and Kailua Kona on Hawaiʻi Island, OHA leaders announced.

According to the announcement, participants were encouraged to get involved in the process aimed at creating a native Hawaiian nation.

The meetings are among 18 planned statewide before the May 1, 2014, deadline to register with the Native Hawaiian Roll.

Additional meetings were planned last night on Lānaʻi and Kauaʻi, and a morning meeting is planned today at 10 a.m. at the Lanikeha Community Center on Molokaʻi.

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In an earlier statement explaining the purpose of the Native Hawaiian Roll, OHA Trustee Haunani Apoliona said, “This is different from past OHA efforts.  We will remain neutral and ensure that the people can provide meaningful input on the process and that the outcomes reflect the will of the native Hawaiian people.”

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In addition to her role as trustee, Apoliona also serves as the chairperson of the Ad Hoc Committee on Governance Planning created by the board of trustees. In March she said, “As a facilitator, OHA is committed to encouraging native Hawaiians to participate in the process of building a Hawaiian nation.”

Office of Hawaiian Affairs CEO Kamanaʻopono Crabbe commented in a press release saying, “It is our fierce belief that Hawaiian-nation building will succeed if all native Hawaiians take part. The success of this effort will depend on as many native Hawaiians as possible demonstrating a commitment that sends a strong and clear message about how our community is rising, uniting and engaging in a process to build a nation that will benefit future generations of Hawaiians.”

Upcoming meetings include the following:

  • Friday, April 18, 2014: Molokaʻi at the Lanikeha Community Center, 10 a.m.
  • Monday, April 21, 2014:  Hawaiʻi Island at the Yano Hall in Kealakekua, 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 23, 2014: Oʻahu at the Stevenson Middle School in Papakōlea, 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 24, 2014: Hawaiʻi Island at the Kohala Inter-generational Center, 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 30, 2014: Oʻahu: at the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Hale Ponoʻī in Kapolei, 6:30 p.m.

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