Statement of OHA Trustee Keli'i Akina on Attorney General subpoena regarding OHA's efforts on behalf of beneficiaries on Maunakea
News Release from OHA Trustee Keli’i Akina PhD, Sept 20, 2019
It is my opinion that OHA should publicly disclose any expenditures related to its resolution of July 25, 2019, to support Hawaiian beneficiaries on Maunakea. As a trustee with fiduciary responsibility, I have made a formal request for a statement of these expenditures.
I believe the resolution passed by the board of trustees does not specifically authorize OHA to support or endorse anti-TMT protest efforts, but it was obvious that individuals protesting the TMT would likely benefit from the resolution. Therefore, to help ensure fairness and neutrality on the part of OHA, I proposed that the resolution be amended to also assist beneficiaries who may be Pro-TMT.
Although my proposed amendment did not pass, I continue to believe that OHA should remain politically neutral in the matter and provide humanitarian support, as needed, to any beneficiaries, regardless of their stance on the TMT. A public accounting of all expenditures will help to ensure this.
Keli'i Akina, Ph.D.
Office of Hawaiian Affairs
OHA BoT Agenda Sept 26, 2019: "OHA Administrative update by Interim CEO Sylvia Hussey on the expenditures related to the resolution approved by the Board on July 25, 2019 via Action Item BOT #19-11 authorizing the OHA Administration to advocate for the rights, safety, and well-being of OHA beneficiaries engaging in peaceful protests of the state’s decades-long pattern of mismanagement of Maunakea, perpetuating their constitutionally protected Native Hawaiian traditional and customary practices, and exercising their constitutionally protected rights of freedom of speech and assembly."