Maui News

Hawaiʻi House Speaker Saiki Names Mauna Kea Working Group Members

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Mauna Kea. File image courtesy Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Hawaiʻi House Speaker Scott K. Saiki today selected Rep. Mark M. Nakashima to serve as chair of the new Mauna Kea Working group and Saiki announced the other 14 members.

Nakashima (District 1) also serves as the Chair of the Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs Committee.

On March 4, 2021, the Hawaiʻi House of Representatives adopted House Resolution 33. It calls for the creation of a 15-member working group tasked with developing recommendations for a new governance and management structure for Mauna Kea that collaboratively engages with all stakeholders, particularly the Native Hawaiian community. 

“The House of Representatives created the Mauna Kea Working Group because the State of Hawaiʻi has not appropriately managed cultural practices, resources and education at Mauna Kea,” Speaker Saiki said. “I hope that new governance and management structure will enable the state to do this. I am looking forward to the important work of this committee in the months ahead.” 


Chair Nakashima said: “As the Representative whose district includes Mauna Kea, my community is depending on this working group to fulfill our mission. I look forward to working with this esteemed group to explore options for a better future for Mauna Kea.”

Mauna Kea was the site of demonstrations in 2019 by kia’i or protectors, who established a 24/7 blockade at the base of Maunakea to prevent the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope.

This year Speaker Saiki solicited nominations from Native Hawaiian groups, organizations and community organizations to select the seven Native Hawaiian members for the working group. There were 86 nominations received from a wide range or groups and organizations. After removing duplicate nominations, there were 53 individual nominees.

Speaker Saiki selected the following seven from the list of 53. In alphabetical order:

  • Jocelyn Leialoha M. Doane
  • Lui Hokoana
  • Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele
  • Joshua Lanakila Manguil
  • Brialyn Onodera
  • Shane Palacat-Nelsen
  • Noe Noe Wong-Wilson

Speaker Saiki selected three House members to serve on the working group: Rep. Ty J.K. Cullen (District 39), Rep. Stacelynn K.M. Eli (District 29) and Rep. David A. Tarnas, Chair of the Water & Land Committee (District 7). 

The final four members were appointed by their respective organizations: 

  • Sterling Wong, Chief Advocate of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, will represent the Office of Hawaiian Affairs;
  • Robert K. Masuda, First Deputy, will represent the Board of Land and Natural Resources; 
  • Bonnie Irwin, Chancellor of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, will represent the University of Hawaiʻi’s Board of Regents; 
  • Rich Matsuda, Chief External Relations Officer and interim Chief Operating Officer at the W. M. Keck Observatory, will represent Maunakea Observatories. 
  • Dr. Pualani Kanakaʻole Kanahele
  • Dr. Lui Hokoana
  • Jocelyn Leialoha M. Doane
  • Joshua Lanakila Manguil
  • Brialyn Onodera

Jocelyn Leialoha M. Doane: She has always felt immense kuleana and passion to pursue justice for her community. Her advocacy has focused on the preservation of Native Hawaiian claims to the “Ceded” lands and the Public Land Trust, and protection of Native Hawaiians rights to exercise their traditional and customary practices. Doane is currently the Administrator of the Community Based Development Division in the Department of Community Services.

Doane graduated with a law degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law with a specialized certificate in Native Hawaiian Law and earned her M.B.A. from the Shidler College of Business. 


Dr. Lui Hokoana: He resides on Maui and serves as the University of Hawai‘i Maui College Chancellor since December 1, 2014. He previously served as the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at UH West Oahu and various other positions within the University of Hawai‘i. He holds a Doctorate of Education from the University of Southern California, a master’s degree in communications from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from UH Hilo. He has served as President of the Maui Council of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs. 

Dr. Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele: She is of pure Hawaiian descent and is responsible to her ancestral lineage. Raised in a Hula and Oli tradition that spans many generations, Dr. Kanaka‘ole is responsible for this matrilineal tradition. She earned a Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She is a well-respected Hawaiian Cultural expert who consults in many areas of Hawaiian perspectives and lifeways. Dr. Kanaka‘ole resides with her family in Pana‘ewa on the island of Hawai‘i. 

Joshua Lanakila Manguil: He is the founder and Executive Director of the Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hāmākua, based in Honoka‘a, HI. Lanalika is a Kia‘i Mauna and was influential in launching the stand to protect Mauna Kea in 2015 and 2019. He remains deeply committed to protecting the critical natural ecology of Hawai‘i, and for the rights of kānaka maoli to their national, ancestral homelands. Manguil has been instrumental in providing hundreds of educational opportunities about Mauna Kea for communities locally and abroad. Mangauil believes in a vision of healing our mauna, our people and our communities. 

Brialyn Onodera: She is passionate about finding a balance between supporting industries that provide opportunities for locals, while preserving the cultural significance of Mauna Kea. Onodera graduated from Kamehameha Schools, Hawai‘i and holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She participated in both the Native Hawaiian Science & Engineering Mentorship Program and Akamai Workforce Initiative Program. She currently works as a mechanical engineer at the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope and is pursuing her EMBA from the Shidler College of Business.  

Shane Palacat-Nelsen: He was born and raised at Kealakekua Bay, South Kona, where he learned the importance to malama ‘āina. He is a member of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs and is the Community Outreach Advocate of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, West Hawaiʻi Resource Center and Chair of the Kahu Kū Mauna Cultural Advisory Council (KKM). KKM advises the Mauna Kea Management Board, Office of Mauna Kea Management, and the UH Hilo Chancellor on Hawaiian cultural matters affecting the UH Management Areas.

Dr. Noe Noe Wong-Wilson: She has committed to perpetuating Hawaiian cultural practices and elevating the participation of community in decision-making processes. She is co-author of the ‘Aina Aloha Economic Futures Initiative. Dr. Wong-Wilson is a retired Assistant Professor in Hawaiian Studies and Coordinator of the Halaulani Transfer Success Center at the Hawai‘i Community College. She is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and has degrees in Anthropology and Pacific Islands Studies from UH Hilo and Mānoa, and a Doctorate in Philosophy from University of Waikato. She is trained in chant and Hawaiian protocol and serves on numerous community organizations. Dr. Wong-Wilson resides in Kaiwiki, Hilo on the slopes of Mauna Kea. 


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