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Thursday, December 24, 2015
‘Conditional’ -- 22 Delegates Demand Changes to Aha Agenda
By News Release @ 8:03 PM :: 4114 Views :: Akaka Bill, OHA

From NaiAupuni.org

Q: I understand that several of the ‘aha participants “conditionally” accepted, is this true and what were the conditions?

A: About 22 of the 150 `aha participants, send the same or similar email to Na`i Aupuni confirming their participation but noted several conditions, and Na`i Aupuni sent them the following general and specific responses:

“Mahalo for your thoughtful conditions and intentions. Na`i Aupuni’s specific responses are set forth below in caps and our general response is as follows:

Na`i Aupuni’s primary goal is to convene the candidates so they would have an opportunity to discuss self-governance concerning Native Hawaiians. While Na`i Aupuni will not attempt to control the outcome of the gathering, it is responsible for certain organizational tasks that are too far along to change – this includes the dates of the meetings, the offered per diem (which many have already accepted) and the retention of experts and facilitators. Effectively organizing a hundred plus individuals, as opposed to forty, to discuss self-governance is difficult and Na`i Aupuni believes that the first week of discussions with experts and the facilitators will help the group organize itself and also provide a base of information to which all participants will simultaneously be exposed. Na`i Aupuni is also reluctant to change its organization course based on the direction from less than all of the participants. Our contracted facilitators Peter Adler and Linda Colburn (and their team) have been actively planning matters in which to effectively and efficiently organize the beginning of the four weeks. Their strategies are inclusive of obtaining the thoughts and opinions of the participants in advance of February 1st 2016.

Conditions

Given the unilateral decision made by Naʻi Aupuni to cancel the election of delegates without consultation with candidates—who have invested substantial effort and resources into this election—and given other unilateral decisions and process shortcomings throughout the election and up until the present time, I commit to attend the Naʻi Aupuni facilitated meeting under the following conditions:

A. The seated participants, referred to by Naʻi Aupuni representatives as “delegates,” may change characterizations of this opportunity to meet, including but not limited to: the description of themselves as “delegates,” the description of this opportunity as an “‘aha” or a “convention,” and the purpose of this meeting opportunity.

CONCEPTUALLY, NA`I AUPUNI HAS NO PROBLEM WITH THE PARTICIPANTS LABELING THEMSELVES AND THE EVENT AS THE MAJORITY DECIDES AND, NA`I AUPUNI SPECIFICALLY NOTES THAT “PARTICIPANTS’ AND “MEETING OPPORTUNITY” SEEM REASONABLE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES.

B. The seated participants reserve the power to modify logistical matters, including but not limited to: meeting dates, times, duration, location, capacitybuilding sessions, processes in preparation for meeting, and decreasing the per diem amounts. I seek to ensure that participants have an opportunity to meet, return to our respective communities to engage and reflect, then regroup with other seated participants, and/or reconvene as a deliberative body. Participants should also be able to decide on an appropriate day to begin meeting, noting that the current start date is an ‘Ole night according to the Hawaiian lunar calendar and not an appropriate time to start a meeting.

AS NOTED ABOVE, NA`I AUPUNI HAS ALREADY MADE FINANCIAL COMMIMENTS THAT DO NOT ALLOW FLEXIBILITY ON MANY OF THE ITEMS MENTIONED HERE. NA`I AUPUNI ALSO UNDERSTANDS THAT THE MAJORITY OF THE PARTICIPANTS MAY PROPOSE A PROCESS GOING FORWARD AFTER THE MEETINGS IN FEBRUARY. WHILE WE RESPECT THAT FEBRUARY 1st IS AN `OLE NIGHT, THIS HAS BEEN SET AND PUBLICIZED AS THE START DATE FOR AWHILE NOW AND FINANCIAL AND TIME COMMITMENTS HAVE ALREADY BEEN MADE TO START ON THAT DAY.

C. The seated participants reserve the right to project and determine the outcome of this meeting opportunity.

AGREED.

Intentions

A. I, along with other like-minded former candidates, intend to reach out to all former candidates to encourage everyone to commit to these same or similar conditions to our participation.

NA`I AUPUNI ENCOURAGES PARTICIPANTS TO ENGAGE IN DISCUSSIONS AMONG THEMSELVES AND BEFORE THE MEETINGS BEGIN ON FEBRUARY 1.

B. I, along with other like-minded former candidates, am developing specific suggestions related to this Naʻi Aupuni facilitated meeting opportunity, both presently via small group conversations and in the next few weeks through broader conversations, culminating in a large-group meeting to be held between January 14 and 18 at Punaluʻu, Oʻahu. We invite and encourage the Board of Directors of Naʻi Aupuni, their legal counsel, and any other related support staff to join us.

NA`I AUPUNI DOES NOT CURRENTLY CONTEMPLATE MEETING WITH PARTICIPANTS BEFORE THE START OF THE MEETINGS ESPECIALLY WITH OUTOF-STATE AND NEIGHBOR ISLAND PARTICIPANTS UNABLE TO ATTEND. NA`I AUPUNI IS PLANNING ON COMMUNICATING WITH ALL PARTICIPANTS AS MORE INFORMATION BECOMES AVAIALBLE. HOWEVER, IF YOU HAVE A PERSON THAT CAN SPEAK FOR YOUR GROUP OF PARTICIPANTS, WE ENCOURAGE HIM OR HER TO CONTACT LINDA COLBURN OR PETER ADLER.

C. We intend to make recommendations to the Board of Directors of Naʻi Aupuni on meeting characterizations, logistics, and other issues pertinent to this Naʻi Aupuni facilitated meeting (e.g. use of subject matter experts, the first agenda items, a participant survey on self-governance, Naʻi Aupuni referendum responsibilities, etc.). We endeavor for a majority of seated participants to sign on to a set of recommendations to be determined by those participants.

AGAIN, PLEASE COMMUNICATE ALL SUCH RECOMMENDATIONS TO PETER AND LINDA WHO WILL ALSO BE CONDUCTING A COUPLE OF SURVEYS AND WHO WE BELIEVE YOU WILL FIND ADHERE TO MANY OF THE ORGANIZATIONAL CONCEPTS THAT YOUR GROUP HAS ESPOUSED HERE.

If we don’t hear from you to the contrary, Na`i Aupuni will assume that you will participate in the February meetings.”

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