Maui News

State Senate Confirms 3 Commissioners for Hawaiian Homes Commission

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(L-R) Micheal Kaleikini, David Kaʻapu and Dennis Neves were confirmed by the state Senate April 8, 2021 to the Hawaiian Homes Commission. Photo Courtesy: HHC

The Hawaiʻi State Senate on April 8 confirmed David Kaʻapu, Michael Kaleikini and Dennis Neves to the Hawaiian Homes Commission.  

Kaʻapu received unanimous consent, while Neves was confirmed by a 24-1 vote and Kaleikini by a 21-4 vote.

Ka’apu, who will serve as the West Hawaiʻi Commissioner, is a practicing attorney at law in Kailua-Kona, with an emphasis in quiet title, business law, wills and trusts, general litigation and land use. He graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi with a BA in anthropology (Hawaiian archaeology) and received his law degree from Santa Clara University in 1988.

Kaleikini, who will serve as the East Hawaiʻi Commissioner, has worked in the power generation field for the past 34 years, having spent six years in the US Navy and 28 as an employee with Puna Geothermal Venture in Pahoa on the Big Island. His responsibilities have ranged from plant operations to administration to his current role in business development.

He resides in Waiakea and is active in his community, serving on the East Hawai’i Advisory Council for the American Red Cross, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawai’i, the Hawai’i Island Chamber of Commerce, the Hawai’i Island Economic Development Board, the Hawai’i Leeward Planning Conference and the Mainstreet Pahoa Association Boards. He attended college in California and at Brigham Young University – Hawaiʻi.

Neves, who will serve as the Kauaʻi Commissioner, currently is the second Vice President of the Kalalea Anahola Farmer’s Hui. He has more than 27 years of public service and an extensive Executive Management background, including a role as executive manager for the San Francisco Airport, reporting to the Director. In 2012, he accepted a position with the State of Hawaiʻi as the Kauaʻi Airports District Manager, which he held until December 2017.

As a native Hawaiian beneficiary residing in Anahola, Kauaʻi, Neves is dedicated and passionate about working towards fulfilling the mission of Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole and improving the lives of beneficiaries and those on the waitlist.

The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act was passed by Congress in 1920 and signed into law in 1921. It provides for the rehabilitation of the native Hawaiian people through a government-sponsored homesteading program. Native Hawaiians are defined as individuals having at least 50 percent Hawaiian blood.

To learn more about the Hawaiian Homes Commission, visit

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