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If the Office of Hawaiian Affairs receives permission from the Legislature to develop housing on 31 acres it owns in Kaka ako makai of Ala Moana Boulevard, the agency will restrict such development to three or four parcels away from the waterfront along Kewalo Basin. OHA made the pledge Thursday at a news conference […]
Although Hawaiʻi is the second healthiest state in the nation, Native Hawaiians in our homeland have the poorest health. Through collaborative efforts with key partners and leveraging resources, OHA is engaging policy makers and supporting programs and services that have a direct impact to improve the health of Native Hawaiians. Get a quick glimpse of […]
The 2014 Legislative session opened this morning. The Senate has introduced the 2014 OHA package. Follow the action.
May 16, 2014 Nā Wai ‘Ehā Stream Flow To Be Restored Under Historic Settlement: Agreement avoids possibility of lengthy legal appeals, but implementation details still pending
On April 21st, 2014, a major milestone was reached in the effort to restore streamflow for Nā Wai ‘Ehā in Central Maui. The state Commission on Water Resource Management officially approved a settlement proposal offered by the parties and reviewed and recommended by Hearings Officer Larry Miike. Click here to see details of the settlement and a copy of the Water Commission’s order approving the settlement agreement.
The settlement -- between OHA and EarthJustice representing community groups Hui o Nā Wai `Ehā and Maui Tomorrow Foundation and diverters Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Co., Wailuku Water Co., and the County of Maui -- increases the interim instream flow standards for these streams from 12.5 million gallons per day set by the Commission’s 2010 Decision and Order to roughly 25.5 million gallons per day under normal conditions.
The settlement represents a major, partial resolution of nearly 10 years of legal wrangling, including a Supreme Court appeal and opinion that rejected the Water Commission’s prior ruling to restore water to only two of the four streams of Nā Wai ‘Ehā. When implemented, the new interim instream flow standards will guarantee specified levels of streamflow in all four streams, for the protection of traditional and customary practices, ecosystem services and domestic uses, among other public trust uses protected under the State Water Code and the Hawai`i Constitution.
Moreover, the new flow standards are not appealable because they were the product of a settlement, so the Commission and the Parties can now finally address other outstanding issues relating to Nā Wai `Ehā that could not be resolved until flow standards were in place. These issues include determining the existence of priority rights to Nā Wai `Ehā water and the amount of water that priority right holders are entitled to, as well as determining the extent to which offstream uses of Nā Wai `Ehā water are “reasonable beneficial” and thus qualify for water use permits.
Details on implementation – including when the flow will be restored – are still being worked out.
For more information, see the OHA Press Release on this historic settlement.
April 29, 2014
A cultural practitioner and a Hawaiian Home Lands lessee sued the Department of Land and Natural Resources and William Aila yesterday over their failure to protect trust lands at Pohakulo. Clarence Ching and Mary Kahaulelio, represented by the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, claim that Aila and the department have duties as trustees to prevent ceded lands from being harmed.
In 1964, the State agreed to lease three parcels of land at Pohakuloa to the federal government for military purposes. Lease conditions, however, require that the Army "make every reasonable effort to . . . remove or deactivate all live or blank ammunition" and to "remove or bury all trash, garbage or other waste materials." According to Ching, who has cultural ties to the land, "The State has taken no steps to investigate or monitor the Army's compliance with the terms of the lease. But the State's own records show that it knows that unexploded ordnance litters the landscape." Kahaulelio, who lives on Hawaiian Home land in Waimea, added, "The State has done nothing to make sure that the Army complies with the terms of the lease. It can't just sit on its 'okole while trust lands are damaged. Like the king, chiefs, and konohiki before it, the state has a solemn duty to malama aina.
According to the complaint filed in circuit court Monday, while Aila is "aware that military training activities have caused great damage to public land, natural resources and cultural sites in Hawai'i," his and the State's continued inaction as trustees of the land at Pohakuloa condone further destruction and damage. Ching and Kahaulelio are asking the court to order the State to fulfill its trust duties and to block the State from negotiating an extension of the lease with the Army as long as the terms of the lease are being violated. The Pohakuloa lease expires on August 16, 2029.
NHLC Attorney David Frankel is the lead attorney on the case.
For more information, please call the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation at (808) 521-2302.
Download the NHLC press release. | Watch the video on Pohakuloa | View the First Amended Complaint
February 12, 2014
In 1978 the people of Hawaiʻi voted to create the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to promote and protect the rights of Native Hawaiians, the first peoples of Hawaiʻi. Hawaiʻi’s constitution established OHA’s right to a pro rata portion of the public land trust, however, many issues relating to the fair allocation of the public land trust remained unresolved and disputed for nearly 30 years.
In 2012, OHA and the state agreed to settle the state’s past due public land trust revenue debt by conveying to OHA 30 acres of land in Kakaʻako Makai, with an appraised land value of approximately $200 million.
Accordingly, OHA is exploring all options to maximize our revenue generating opportunities to best serve our beneficiaries.(more…)