HONOLULU, Hawaii: The state’s Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Director, Hilo native Alapaki Nahale-a, will be stepping down… yet another administration official to resign since Governor Neil Abercrombie took office in December 2010.
Nahale-a’s resignation was accepted on Friday afternoon, but is expected to take effect on May 15, 2012.
From the office of the governor:
“Working for state government at this level has been a rewarding experience but also taxing on a number of levels,” said Director Nahale-a. “While I am proud of all that we’ve accomplished so far, the decision for me to move on is what I believe is best for my family, which is my number one priority.”
Director Nahale-a will assist in transitioning his successor following the legislative session. Governor Abercrombie will immediately begin the search for a replacement.
“Alapaki is a man who has and will do good things for Hawai’i, especially Native Hawaiians. While I am saddened by his resignation, I am very proud of the work that he has done,” stated Governor Abercrombie. “He has reminded me of the sacrifice that many state workers are making to better Hawai’i and I appreciate the dedication and performance that is still being given under challenging circumstances.”
Director Nahale-a added, “I want to thank the many beneficiaries, staff, and especially the Governor for their support as we worked to incorporate New Day initiatives at DHHL while staying true to the trust established by Prince Kuhio Kalanianaole.”
For Hawaii Island, Nahale-a was one of the exciting cabinet picks of the new administration, one of the familiar Big Island faces to join the new state leader. He introduced himself to the community of Waimea at this meeting in January 2011:
He also saw the completion of at least two major DHHL projects on the island, although both were started before his tenure.
In one of his most recent visits to Hawaii Island, Nahale-a calmed a tense crowd of stakeholders at a meeting in Keaukaha, while the department pitched new ideas.
No word yet on possible replacements for the director position.