by Andrew Walden
Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs are transferring over $3 million of Kanaiolowalu "governance planning" funds to "The Consortium" and the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission.
The Trustees' October 18, 2014 vote was 6-2-1 with Kauai Trustee Dan Ahuna and Maui Trustee Hulu Lindsey in opposition. Haunani Apoliona recused herself.
Ka Wai Ola, November, 2014 (page 9), reports $2.6M will be transferred to 'The Consortium" and $407K will go to the Kanaiolowalu Roll Commission. The funds were previously earmarked to conduct an election for a governance 'Aha, the 'Aha itself, a subsequent referendum on the results of the 'Aha, and "community engagement" efforts related to the 'Aha. Ka Wai Ola reports OHA has already spent over $964K on the 'Aha.
FreeHawaii identifies "The Consortium" as: Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Sovereign Councils of Hawaiian Homelands Assemblies, and the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs/Hawaii Maoli.
According to a leaked internal communication dated September 24, 2014 from Soulee Stroud, outgoing President of the Hawaiian Civic Clubs:
"Queens Health, and Kamehameha Schools have stated that they are willing to provide the expertise to design the RFP‘s, and are waiting for the consortium to official (sic) form. Both have stated that they will not 'sign on' as members of the consortium, but have indicated serving as advisory, in a committee setting, and this is a function that they will consider. Certainly Lunalilo, KS and Queens has the expertise, as all design RFP‘s, and vet proposals, monitor vendors to insure deliverables."
The involvement of land trusts is telling. Even without federal recognition, the Hawaii Legislature could vote to free a State-recognized Indian tribe of all state and county land use, cultural, and environmental restrictions for any lands within its State-recognized jurisdiction. A State-recognized tribe could also be freed from all State and County transparency requirements and Sunshine Laws. (Sen Brickwood Galuteria, in February, 2014, introduced SB2992SD1 in a failed attempt to exempt OHA from the Sunshine Laws.)
A Kamehameha Schools spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
A State-recognized tribe free from Hawaii State law would provide immense land-development opportunities for OHA and any "ali'i" land trusts which choose to enter the tribe. Competing land trusts and property developers such as A&B, Grove Farm, ML&P, Shipman, Howard Hughes, Ward, and others outside the tribe would be at a competitive disadvantage.
PLDC and Kakaako Makai were just a warmup exercise.
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