Native Hawaiian Council Applauds Hawaiian Homes Chairman Selection

November 30th, 2010 ·

A Native Hawaii policy and community development group is praising the recent selection of the Big Island’s Alapaki Nahale-a as the new Director of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

Alapaki Nahale-a. Photo courtesy Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

Nahale-a was named to the post by Governor-Elect Neil Abercrombie yesterday.  The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA), issued a statement yesterday applauding the appointment.

“This cabinet appointment is one of the most important selections to be made that directly impacts Native Hawaiians,” said Robin Puanani Danner, CNHA President and CEO. “Mr. Nahale-a is exactly the kind of leader we have been waiting for. He has integrity and a keen understanding of the unique trust relationship DHHL represents.  He knows that he and the Governor, as a function of federal law, the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, the Administration works for tens of thousands of beneficiaries of the Trust that State government promised in 1959 to uphold.”

CNHA and its Native Hawaiian Policy Center (NHPC) submitted a Transition Memo to the Abercrombie/Schatz team, identifying key policy priorities for the new Administration to consider in the first 100 days, as well as the next four years.  The organization recommended a reorganization of the Department by adding a focus to Agricultural and Pastoral homesteading, transparency and solicitation of beneficiary priorities in the development of the DHHL budget, the implementation of a written policy on how lands are distributed for non-homesteading purposes and to publish a list of all land licenses and general leases issued for non-homesteading purposes by the prior Administration over the past eight years.

“For some of us, this is our fourth or fifth Chairman, and for others this is their tenth.  The homestead leaders that contributed to the priorities are certainly subject-matter experts who want to help the administration be successful and to benefit from decades of experience. What’s great about Alapaki Nahale-a is that he’s from the homesteads. He too, knows the challenges of the Trust, and what its goals are in meeting the vision of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole,” said Danner.

Founded in 2001, CNHA unifies 155 Native Hawaiian Organizations, operating a policy center, a community loan fund, and services that enhance the cultural, economic and community development of Native Hawaiians.