(BIVN) – Leaders from Hawaii Island homestead associations and beneficiary councils made the trip to Oʻahu on Monday to participate in a Department of Hawaiian Home Lands information briefing at the Capitol.
The meeting was held in order for the Hawaiʻi Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs to receive a statewide, comprehensive update from Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiary representatives and individuals stakeholders.
Big Island speakers on the panel were Patrick Kahawaiolaʻa from Keaukaha and Bo Kahui of LaʻiʻŌpua 2020 in Kealakehe.
As Kahawaiolaʻa pointed out, the proper administration of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act is critical for the state.
“It is in the Admissions Act, and Constitution, that the proviso that the state, to become a state, you need to accept the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act into your Constitution,” Kahawaiolaʻa said. “Without the Hawaiian Homes Commission act you don’t have a state.”
Kahawaiolaʻa also reminded everyone that recent DHHL court cases determined that “you cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve two masters, you can only serve one. And that master is the beneficiaries as defined under the Hawaiian homes Commission Act. That’s your master ,” he said.
Beneficiary Trust Council organizer and well known Kanaka Ranger Kepa Kaeo also appeared to testify. Kaeo has been pressing the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, holding the state agency accountable for its administration of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act.