Embracing Transparency: New Leadership finally comes to OHA


`Ano`ai kakou…  Happy Year of the Sheep!  Big Island Trustee Robert Lindsey has been selected as our new Chairman of the Board.  Trustee Dan Ahuna is our Vice-Chair.  Trustee John Waihee IV chairs the Beneficiary Advocacy and Empowerment Committee and Trustee Hulu Lindsey chairs the Land and Property Committee.

As many of my readers know, I have worked diligently for many years to make OHA accountable to our beneficiaries and to make our decision making process more transparent.  This call for openness has made me very unpopular with the past two OHA Chairs.

After years of having my requests get absolutely nowhere, I was finally forced to file a lawsuit against OHA in September 2013 to make it more transparent.  Now that a new leadership team is in place, this lawsuit may no longer be necessary.

As the new Chairperson of the Asset & Resource Management (ARM) Committee (henceforth the “Budget & Finance” Committee), I will oversee all fiscal and budgetary matters and ensure that OHA’s trust fund is properly management.

The Budget & Finance Committee also oversees OHA’s real estate and develops policy on land use, native rights, and natural and cultural resources.  It also approves all grants and evaluates OHA programs to decide whether we should continue funding them.

Now that decision making has shifted to a new majority, I feel confident that our beneficiaries will be pleased with the upcoming changes.


If you haven’t already heard, you may now go to OHA’s website at http://www.oha.org/about/board-trustees to watch live meetings of the OHA Board of Trustees.  Be sure to tune in on the days we have our meetings.  For a meeting schedule, please call me at (808) 594-0204.


Mahalo nui loa to Governor Neil Abercrombie for his constant support of Native Hawaiian issues, which goes all the way back to championing the Akaka bill while he was in Congress.  He can take pride in being the Governor that finally made the ceded lands settlement a reality with the transfer of Kakaako Makai to OHA.

I would also like to thank State Senators Malama Solomon and Clayton Hee, and Representative Faye Hanohano for their dedicated service to the Native Hawaiian Community while serving in the state legislature.  I wish them well in their future endeavors.

While OHA now has to work even harder to educate the new incoming legislators on unresolved Native Hawaiian issues, I have high hopes that we will have another successful session and get more things done for our beneficiaries.

Aloha Ke Akua.

Refreshing Changes: Welcoming Maui Trustee Hulu Lindsey & OHA C.E.O. Dr. Kamana’opono Crabbe


`Ano`ai kakou…  This year has started off with several refreshing changes.


First, OHA welcomed new Maui Trustee, Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey, who was appointed by Governor Neil Abercrombie.  Trustee Lindsey will serve on an interim basis until November when a special election will be held to fill the remaining two years of Trustee Mossman’s term.  Trustee Lindsey brings a burst of new energy to the board with her knowledge, experience, and willingness to give her all for our beneficiaries.


Congratulations to Dr. Kamana’opono Crabbe on his appointment by the Board of Trustees as the new Chief Executive Officer of OHA.  I have long admired his exemplary work over the past few years as OHA’s Research Director and I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the position.

I am delighted that Dr. Crabbe’s lifetime of dedication and advocacy for Native Hawaiians is finally being recognized so appropriately.  It is a comfort for me to know that our people have a true advocate within OHA.  I am sincerely hoping that our staff members and Trustees will allow Dr. Crabbe to bring his own style of leadership to OHA, which may differ from previous administrations.

I look forward to working closely with both Trustee Hulu Lindsey and Dr. Crabbe this year to build a bright and sustainable future for all Native Hawaiians.


I am pleased to report that I have been appointed Vice-Chair of the Committee on Beneficiary Advocacy and Empowerment (BAE), one of the two subject-matter committees under the Board of Trustees.  I will now be working closely with BAE Chair, Trustee John Waihe’e IV, on all federal and state legislation, on-going programs in health, housing, education, land, and the Native Hawaiian Revolving Loan Fund.


I will also continue to serve as one of two “Legislative Liaisons” appointed by Trustee Waihe’e for the 2012 legislative session.  This is a crucial year for OHA as we intensely lobby the House and Senate for the passage of legislation to finally resolve the claims relating to OHA’s portion of income from the Public Land Trust between Nov. 7, 1978, and June 30, 2012. (House Bill 2521 & Senate Bill 2783).  I look forward to putting my many years of lobbying experience and strong relationships with legislators to good use.


After several years and countless requests to the administration to televise OHA meetings, in a way similar to what the Honolulu City Council or the State Legislature are doing, OHA has finally taken a step in the right direction.

OHA is now broadcasting live board meetings from Honolulu to Kauai.  Beneficiaries on Kauai should check OHA’s meeting notices or call 241-3390 to confirm whether there will be a live video conference broadcast to the Lihu’e State Office Building.

It is my hope that this will encourage the Administration to broadcast live OHA meetings to the other neighbor islands.  Broadcasting all of our meetings will not only make Trustees more accessible to beneficiaries, but it will also allow beneficiaries to see how our board conducts its business.  What a refreshing change that would be.  Aloha Ke Akua.