Trustee Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey named new OHA chair
Editor’s Note: At today's Board meeting, Trustee Brendon Lee protested the nomination of Carmen Hulu Lindsey for Chair of the OHA Board of Trustees. At the start of the meeting, trustee Lee motioned to adjourn in order ostensibly to give time for the court to resolve the challenge to Trustee Keli'i Akina’s election. Without discussion, the board voted it down, with Ahuna and Keola Lindsay siding with Lee. Lee later nominated John Waihee III to be Chair but Waihee declined to accept the nomination. Meanwhile Akina is waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on his opponent's election challenge. In a sign of motion, the Court Dec 10 2020 appointed a temporary judge -- Bert Ayabe 1st Cir-- to fill its vacancy for this case.
News Release from OHA
HONOLULU (Dec. 10, 2020) – The OHA Board of Trustees today voted to appoint Maui Trustee Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey as its chair, while also selecting the rest of its leadership during the first board meeting since the November elections.
“Today we celebrate the dawning of a new effort with the common goal to uplift the Office of Hawaiian Affairs,” said Chair Lindsey, who has served as an OHA trustee since January 2012. “Our commitment is to build trust and cohesion amongst OHA’s Board of Trustees so that we may address past disputes with the State, and within our agency and community so that we can begin to face the many challenges as Hawaiians with a strong and unified house.”
In her acceptance speech during today’s board meeting, Chair Lindsey identified four priorities under her leadership. Those priorities are: 1) implementing OHA’s new Strategic Plan; 2) focusing on the development of OHA’s 30 acres of land in Kakaʻako Makai; 3) addressing the health challenges presented by COVID-19 to the Native Hawaiian community; and 4) improving the stewardship and protection of Native Hawaiian land and water resources. (See Chair Lindsey’s full speech here.)
Chair Lindsey has been a long-time member of the ʻAhahui Kaʻahumanu and an active member of the Central Maui Hawaiian Civic Club. In addition, she is a former properties administrator for Maui Land & Pineapple Co. as well as the former administrator for the County of Maui’s Land Use and Codes Division. She is also an award-winning recording artist.
OHA trustees today also selected the vice chair for the full board as well as the leadership for the board’s two standing committees. OHA’s new board leadership is:
· Chair: Hulu Lindsey, Maui trustee
· Vice Chair: Leinaʻala Ahu Isa, trustee at-large
Committee on Resource Management:
· Chair: John D. Waiheʻe IV, trustee at-large
· Vice Chair: Luana Alapa, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi trustee
Committee on Beneficiary and Advocacy:
· Chair: Kaleihikina Akaka, Oʻahu trustee
· Vice Chair: Keola Lindsey, Hawaiʻi Island trustee
Today’s board meeting was the first since the general election, during which four OHA board seats were voted upon. Three trustees were elected to four-year terms. Kauaʻi and Niʻihau Trustee Dan Ahuna, an incumbent, was re-elected. This meeting was the first for OHA’s newest trustees: Hawaiʻi Island Trustee Keola Lindsey and Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi Trustee Luana Alapa.
The state Office of Elections has yet to certify the at-large OHA trustee race. Incumbent Trustee Keliʻi Akina’s victory in that election is currently being challenged in the Hawaiʻi State Supreme Court.
The Honorable Keith K. Hiraoka, an associate judge on the Intermediate Court of Appeals, administered the Oath of Office to the newly elected trustees at today’s meeting. OHA usually holds an investiture ceremony for the newly-sworn in trustees but that event is postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19.