Representative Faye Hanohano issued the following statement and apology:
“First and foremost, I’d like to express my sincere apology to any individuals or groups who may have been offended by my comments. Clearly comments that were intended to be an impassioned plea for increasing the visibility and support for Native Hawaiian artists were expressed in a manner that did not accurately reflect their intent, sentiment or the integrity of this office. I accept full responsibility for this unfortunate incident and, again, I apologize.
My office has already reached out to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to assist us in obtaining additional training for all of our staff. We are committed to taking immediate steps to ensure that an incident like this never happens again.
I will also be reaching out to the State Foundation for Culture and the Arts to attempt to rebuild and improve that relationship. I stand firm in my position that individuals who serve in state leadership positions should be thoroughly educated and informed on the history and native culture of Hawai‘i. I am hopeful that this unfortunate incident can serve as a platform for improving dialogue and cross-cultural relationships between state departments.”
Representative Faye Hanohano delivered the following apology on the floor of the State House of Representatives today, February 28, 2013
Ka Hua ‘ōlelo o ka lā – MIHI – Apology
‘O ku’u leo mihi ho’i kēia e noi ha’aha’a nei iā ‘oukou i ka huikala mai ia’u.
I am an honest and straight speaking woman whom descends from long line of proud leaders and warriors from Puna of Hawai’i island.
I aloha all of our people in Hawai’i and will continue to find ways to champion the plethora of issues and challenges that my Hawaiian people continue to endure. I firmly believe in my na’au, in my heart that when my native people don’t just survive but actually thrive and prosper then ALL of our other ethnicities of Hawai’i nei shall find greater benefit and blessing.
Todayʻs word is MIHI and I humbly apologize to all of you whom may have been offended by sentiments expressed that were taken into the news media. I realize that as public elected officials we all come to the table and kukakuka about the issues that matter most to our communities. Sometimes we agree, and sometimes we donʻt however let me reaffirm my commitment to all of you that I shall serve my people and the people of the State of Hawaii to the best of my ability, integrity and for the honor of my kupuna.