Is racism why OHA can’t build condos?
by Keliʻi Akina, Ph.D., Trustee-at-Large, Office of Hawaiian Affairs
With the close of the recent legislative session, OHA’s request for permission to build condos on its Kakaako Makai land was denied again.
At a news conference where OHA Trustees gave their views, Hawaii’s leading newspaper asked if I thought racism was the reason.
Here’s the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s write-up of what I told them:
…But at-large trustee Keli‘i Akina said he didn’t think racism against Hawaiians is the primary reason why residential towers cannot be built on the makai side of Kakaako. He said the restriction was put in place before OHA chose to acquire the property.
“OHA’s strongest argument for repealing the height restriction is the project’s merits,” he said. “Developing residential towers will help address Honolulu’s critical housing shortage, and OHA can use the resulting revenues to meet the needs of Hawaiians.”
Akina said OHA made headway this year persuading people about the project’s benefits.
“This year we saw the conversation about OHA and the Hawaiian people elevated to where it has never been,” he said. “The whole state was talking about the needs of Hawaiians and the Hakuone development.”
OHA’s own research, he said, showed that the majority of those surveyed believed Hakuone should be developed and that it would be good not only for Native Hawaiians, but everyone.
As you can see, I believe the most persuasive path forward for OHA’s development efforts is to emphasize what is positive and good for the entire community.
I thank you for standing with me to bring a message of hope with practical solutions that unite us rather than divide us.
Please contribute to my campaign organization so that, together, we can serve the interests of all the people of Hawaii.
E Hana kākou! (Let’s work together!)
DISCLAIMER: This is a campaign message from me in my private capacity and does not represent nor use resources of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
PDF: Star-Advertiser full article