OHA Plagued by Another Frivolous Lawsuit Filed by the Same People

By Rowena Akana
April 2002

Source: Ka Wai Ola o OHA

Arakaki v. Cayetano disenfranchises Hawaiians from their rightful entitlements.

OHA is faced with yet another lawsuit enjoining the State and Federal governments from giving Hawaiians their entitlements. On March 12, 2002, the Honorable Judge Mollway heard arguments on whether to issue a temporary restraining order against the State, OHA and DHHL, and had the good sense to deny such an order. However, the case will go on further to address the issue of whether OHA and DHHL are entitled to their entitlements.

This case comes squarely on the heels of the recently dismissed Carroll case. How many times must OHA and others go to court to address the same issues? The Arakaki plaintiffs argue that the original trust (without the Admissions Act amendments) is what governs and that does not mention using the ceded lands for the betterment of Hawaiians, and that the amendments which do allow ceded lands to be used for the “betterment of Native Hawaiians,” were improper. They argue that they have standing as taxpayers and beneficiaries of the original trust. This is pure blasphemy!

It is well within the jurisdiction of the court to hear a case brought by or on behalf of the beneficiaries of a trust for breach of fiduciary responsibility under Title 28 of the United States. This action is especially applicable where these rights are clearly granted by the Admission Act (Public Law 86.3, March 18, 1959) and the State Constitution which established the Public Trust and named the native Hawaiian as a beneficiary class. As required by the Admission Act the people of Hawaii constitutionally enacted the following:

“The lands granted to the State of Hawaii by Section 5(b) of the Admission Act and pursuant to Article XVI, Section 7, of the State Constitution…shall be held by the State as a public trust for native Hawaiians and the general public.”

“Any trust provisions which the Congress shall impose, upon the admission of this State, in respect of the lands patented to the State by the United States or the proceeds and income there from, shall be complied with by appropriate legislation. Such legislation shall not diminish or limit the benefits of native Hawaiians under Section 4 of Article XII.”

The Admissions Act was an act of Congress and can only be struck down by another Act of Congress or the United States Supreme Court.

Hawaiian lands have been given away, taken away, and sold until they own very little of what was originally theirs. Our people are still awaiting the day when they can own their own homes. This case should unite the Hawaiians to speak up and fight for their entitlements. This is why I believe so strongly in sovereignty–so those against Hawaiian entitlements cannot take them away. Wha’t next? Kamehameha Schools, Liliuokalani Trust and other Hawaiian trusts?

Hawaiian Home Loan Program; Health Task Force

By Rowena Akana
January 2002

Source Ka Wai Ola o OHA

OHA’s Home Loan Program for Hawaiian Home Lands has been successful since 1993 when OHA granted DHHL $20 million for renovations and down payments for its homesteaders. As the program’s committee chair, I hope to broaden this home loan program to include more Hawaiians, especially those not on Hawaiian Homestead lands. In order to accomplish this, OHA needs to leverage its financial resources by partnering with other lending institutions. To that end, I have been meeting with possible lenders and most recently in talks with FANNIE MAE in Washington, D.C. and in the western region in California. Talks have been fruitful and I hope that by mid-April or May, OHA will have a home loan program that all Hawaiians in the community can participate in.

Most Hawaiians do not have access to financing through the “conventional” lending system. There is a need to provide home loans to Native Hawaiians. If OHA merely lent its own monies and collected on the loans, the limited funding would not allow OHA to make very many loans. However, with FANNIE MAE and other lenders’ participation, we can leverage those monies and provide for many loans from our initial capital investment. If processed in this manner, OHA can provide for many more loans from its initial capital investment. In the end, if these agreements with the banks and FANNIE MAE are successful, OHA can provide more loans to more people and allow OHA monies to revolve.

I look forward to progressing with this loan program so more Hawaiians who do not live on homestead lands can purchase homes. My hope is to accomplish this goal. If you support this concept, drop me a line or call me at 594-1860. I will keep you informed as to its progress.

On another exciting note, the Native Hawaiian Health Task Force has been reactivated by the Programs Committee when I was chair. Health has always been one of the key issues cited by our communities as a pressing need for Hawaiians. One of the outcomes of the past task force meetings was a report which found that the most effective use of our monies would be in an outreach program to help kupuna enroll in supplemental health coverage plans. We cannot overlook the health requirements of our neediest Hawaiians – our kupuna. I will continue to work with the medical field through the task force on health issues for Hawaiians. OHA will soon be hiring a full-time health person to assume the task of assisting the Native Hawaiian Health Task Force in supplementing health coverage for the kupuna, as well as using our monies and resources to address some of the health needs of our Hawaiian communities. I will keep you posted on the activities of the Native Hawaiian Health Task Force and Hawaiian health issues.

I am grateful to the following Task Force members who so willingly gave of their time and mana’o to serve: Dr. Charmin Akina, Waimanalo Health Center; Dr. Naleen Andrade, U.H.; Gladys Brandt, Stephen Chong, St. Francis Health; Beadie Dawson, Attorney; Professor Noreen Mokuau; Charles Nakoa, QLCC; Sister Beatrice Tom; Dr. Benjamin Young, Native Hawaiian School of Medicine; Richard Jackson, Queen’s Health System; Na’u Kamali’i and Hardy Spoehr, Papa Ola Lokahi; Mary Rydell, Center for Medicaid and Medicare; Claire Hughes and Kirk Lange, Department of Health; Pi’ilani Pang, HMSA Uninsured Project; Thomas Au and Kim Birnie, Kauka Hui; and Beth Geisting, Primary Care Association.

“Save your people and bless their inheritance, O Lord be their shepherd and carry them forever.” Psalms 28:9.

Land and Sovereignty

By: Trustee Rowena Akana
February 3, 1999

No two words have so captured the attention of this archipelago’s residents as “land” and “sovereignty”. Despite developments since the 100-year anniversary of the 1893 illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy, as well as the United States’ apology and admission of the illegality of the overthrow, many people do not grasp what either word means or will mean for their future.

The general goal of sovereignty advocates is the transfer of control of Hawaiian Home Lands and ceded lands directly to a native Hawaiian government. Currently, the state and federal government hold in trust about 1.2 million acres of land for the benefit of Hawaiians. Yet, the first people to these lands have seen very few benefits.

Hawaiian Home Lands are scattered tracts comprising about 197,075 acres, which Congress set aside in 1920 for native Hawaiian homesteaders. Ceded lands are the remains of an estimated 1.8 million acres of public, private and crown land illegally annexed by resolution from a provisional government to the United States in 1898.

Hawaiian land, once farmed communally, is now some of the most expensive real estate on Earth. Housing prices, driven up by mainland retirees and foreign speculators, are out of reach for Hawaiians living, working and raising families in the islands.

Hawaiian waters, once kept in ecological balance with humans through a complex kapu system, are now oversold to the highest bidder, or treated as a toilet for raw sewage.

Hawaiian culture, once a living history of genealogy, geography, and spirituality, was nearly obliterated by Calvinist missionaries and is usually obscured with tourist-pleasing luaus.

Today, 70-80,000 people (depending on the source) – of Hawaii’s more than one million residents are full-blooded Hawaiians. One fifth, or about 225,000 people claim some Hawaiian blood. Yet Hawaiians remain the poorest, sickest, least educated, worst housed, and most frequently imprisoned segment of Hawaii’s population.

Since Kamehameha the Great, foreigners have enjoyed some measure of control over Hawaiian land. The concept of land ownership was foreign to Hawaiians. How can you own what belongs to God? The king and his chief provided land grants to the people–some of them outsiders, who chose to grow large tracts of crops to be sold overseas, rather than to be eaten at home.

In 1825, when 12-year-old Kamehameha III ascended to the throne, the Council of Chiefs adopted the western practice of inheritance after the death of a king. However, foreigners, protective of their agricultural interest, sought more secure forms of land tenure. They and their governments applied considerable pressure on the young king.

In 1840, the year he drew up Hawaii’s first constitution, Kamehameha III granted the right to property by declaring that all land belonged to the chiefs and the people, with the king as trustee. In 1848, true ownership of land came to Hawaii, when the king accepted a land apportionment plan, called the Great Mahele, or division.

The Mahele completed the transition from a feudal redistribution land system to a fee simple land ownership system, by dividing the land among the king, government, chiefs and the people. The land was split into three parts: about 1 million acres of crown lands to which the king held title; 1.5 million acres of government lands for public use; and, the remaining 1.5 million of Konohiki lands set aside for individual ownership by the chiefs and the people.

The Mahele was an unmitigated disaster for the maka’ainana, the people of the land, or commoners. While the king intended to make available one-third of Hawaii’s lands to maka’ainana, they received much less than one percent of the total land. The maka’ainana’s land holdings and rights were further diluted in 1850, with the passage of additional legislation which authorized ownership and conveyance of the land, regardless of citizenship.

The stage was set for a massive land grab by Westerners. In the next half century, with a population no larger than 2,000, Westerners took control of most of Hawaii’s land, and manipulated the economy for their own profit.

Many Native Hawaiians pleaded with their last elected monarch, Queen Lili’uokalani, to protect the sovereignty of Hawaii. At the urging of her people, the queen attempted to regain some of the monarchy’s power, which had been lost during the reign of her predecessor and brother, King Kalakaua through the Bayonet Constitution.

Her efforts to change Hawaii’s Constitution and cabinet unnerved a group of the wealthiest American merchants and sugar planters. These men wanted to be part of the United States to avoid high import tariffs. So, backed by a contingent of 162 U.S. Marines, the businessmen imprisoned the queen, and took over the islands, including the acreage that was supposed to be available to the maka’ainana.

Despite Lili’uokalani’s steadfast belief that the United States government would honor its treaties with the Kingdom and reject the provisional government, Hawaii went from a sovereign nation to an American colony in five years. In 1898, under President William McKinley, Hawaii was annexed to the United States constellation, along with Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines.

President Grover Cleveland, who had opposed the coup, but failed to reverse it, wrote after leaving office: Hawaii is ours. But as look back upon the first steps in this miserable business, and as I contemplate the means to complete this outrage, I am ashamed of the whole affair.”

Meanwhile, the provisional government sold chunks of crown and Konohiki lands to fellow merchants and planters. When the islands were annexed illegally to the United States, Hawaii’s government acknowledged that this acreage (now 1.8 million acres) belonged to Native Hawaiians, and ceded it with the stipulation that it be held in trust for Native Hawaiians. The federal government summarily lopped off about 20 percent of the land for its own use, mostly for military bases and parks.

By 1920, the plight of the true inhabitants, Native Hawaiians, had become desperate. The population had dropped as much as 96 percent. Some scholars estimate that a one-time population of 1 million Hawaiians in pre-contact Hawaii had plummeted to 40,000.

However, a bill was being prepared that would allow Native Hawaiians to lease a small sliver of their former land. The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act began as a well meaning effort by Prince Jonah Kuhio, the Hawaiian territorial delegate to Congress, who saw urban slums and disease rapidly killing off Hawaiians, and hoped that returning Hawaiians to their aina, their agricultural land, could save them. In 1920, he said: “The Hawaiian race is passing, and if conditions continue to exist as they do today, this splendid race of people, my race, will pass from the face of this earth.”

No sooner did Prince Kuhio float his plan in Congress than it was co-opted by pineapple and sugar planters, who saw it as a way to secure their own uncertain futures. Their leases on 26,000 fertile acres were about to expire, and a general homestead law threatened to transfer their lucrative holdings to other hands.

So the planters struck a deal with territorial politicians: Get rid of general homesteading, allow us to keep our lands, and in exchange, you may allot 200,000 acres of “fourth class” lands to native Hawaiians for homestead. This land was arid, inaccessible, soilpoor, without infrastructure, and otherwise unfit for cultivation. Before long, Hawaiians abandoned agrarianism, and the bulk of homestead awards became simple house lots.
The sugar planters ensured that the Hawaiian Home Lands’ first executive was an ally. Its executive secretary was George Cooke, of Castle & Cooke, one of the Big Five plantation powers. The planters even pushed the 50 percent Hawaiian blood requirement, believing that interracial marriages would dilute the native population to extinction.

After statehood in 1959, responsibility for managing the homestead program was transferred from the federal government to the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL). Because the state failed to appropriate sufficient funding, until recently, the DHHL’s main source of revenue to manage and improve the land was income from general use leases granted non-Hawaiians on land “not immediately needed” for homestead. As a result, DHHL leased more land to non-Hawaiians than to Hawaiians.

For decades, the administration of the Hawaiian Home Lands trust went unquestioned. Subsequent investigations revealed mismanagement of the trust by both the federal and state governments. DHHL estimates that territorial and state governors issued between forty and sixty executive orders, which set aside Hawaiian Home Lands for military use. In 1978, a federal district court ruled that all governors’ executive orders were illegal.

In 1984, Governor Ariyoshi rescinded nearly thirty of these illegal acts, covering 30,000 acres. The Hawaii Attorney General also decreed that the U.S. Navy’s occupation of 1,400 acres of prime homelands near Honolulu was a “fundamental breach of trust”.

Rather than evicting the offending land users, which included state and federal agencies, the DHHL opted for monetary settlements totaling less than $10 million.

As of June 30,1997, only 6,428 homestead leases were awarded statewide, representing a mere 20.5 percent of the total Hawaiian Home Lands property. Meanwhile there are an estimated 29,162 qualified applicants on the Hawaiian Homes waiting list, many of whom have been waiting for forty years or more. Many have died waiting.

In 1959, when the Admissions Act turned responsibility for the remaining 1.5 million acres of ceded lands over to the new State of Hawaii, the federal government “retained” several hundred thousand acres for its national parks and military installations. Today, more than 100 facilities crowd the eight Hawaiian Islands, a land area approximately the size of Rhode Island and Connecticut combined. All the military bases occupy some ceded lands, and at least six occupy Hawaiian Home Lands, without consent or compensation.

Responsibility for these ceded lands rests with the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). For the state’s first twenty years, DLNR managed ceded lands without scrutiny. Among other abuses, it allowed use of ceded lands by other state departments without compensation. It also executed a slew of summary land swaps.

State and federal laws already mandate that Hawaiians receive priority for water, to support development, traditional agriculture, and gathering rights over subdivisions, hotels and golf courses — promises seemingly forgotten. The state’s Commission on Water Resources has ignored the “Hawaiian Rights” clause of the water code, the clause that guarantees adequate reserves of water for current and foreseeable development of Hawaiian Home Lands.

At the 1978 Constitutional Convention, the state admitted that it was derelict in its duty to provide for the Hawaiian community. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) was created to receive 20 percent of all revenue generated by ceded lands for use for the benefit of Hawaiians.

Between 1980 and 1990, instead of 20 percent, OHA only received about $12.5 million in such proceeds. In 1993, OHA received $129 million from the state in settlement of those claims, including interest for back payment of monies owed by the state from 1980 – 1990, during the Waihee Administration.

In 1994, OHA initiated litigation to require the state to pay OHA past due amounts owed to Hawaiians that were not included in the $129 million settlement. In October 1996, Judge Heely granted OHA’s motion for partial summary judgment. The State filed an appeal. In December 1998, the Hawaii Supreme Court directed the parties to try to resolve the matter expeditiously. Negotiations continue.

As indigenous and first people to these islands, Hawaiians have essentially been under siege since foreign contact. In November 1993, President Clinton signed a Joint Resolution, which recognized the illegal procedure by which Hawaii was annexed to the United States, and apologized to Native Hawaiians on Behalf of the United States for the Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. This legal recognition has offered Hawaiians a unique opportunity to lead a renewed battle for the resurrection of the powerful principle of sovereignty. Sovereignty is not a foreign concept to Hawaiians, to Native Americans, or to states in general.

To the great nineteenth century orator, Stephen Douglas, states incorporated legally into the Union were co-equal and sovereign unto themselves. In his celebrated debates with Lincoln (echoing the Declaration of Independence, which states that “these United States are, and of right ought to be Free and Independent States”), Douglas said:

“THIS GOVERNMENT WAS MADE UPON THE GREAT BASIS OF THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE STATES, THE RIGHT OF EACH STATE TO REGULATE ITS OWN DOMESTIC INSTITUTIONS TO SUIT ITSELF, AND THAT RIGHT WAS CONFERRED WITH THE UNDERSTANDING AND EXPECTATION THAT INASMUCH AS EACH LOCALITY HAD SEPARATE INTERESTS, EACH LOCALITY MUST HAVE DIFFERENT AND DISTINCT LOCAL DOMESTIC INSTITUTIONS, CORRESPONDING TO ITS WANTS AND INTERESTS.”

Native governments have formed under the federal government through the Department of the Interior. There are hundreds of recognized nations within the territorial United States, in which the United States is but one. The others consist of American Indians. If it is OK for American Indians to form sovereign nations, why not Hawaiians? Failure to do so would, in fact, be discrimination against Hawaiians.

As indigenous people, Hawaiians are seeking recognition from the federal government of their right to sovereignty and self determination. Hawaiians have no desire to be dependent on the state or federal government. If Hawaiians had control of their lands, they could take care of their own people. They would not be a drain on the economy. There would be no homeless Hawaiians.

Fundamental to any sovereignty concept is control over land. Hawaiians have never prospered on land held on their behalf, but outside their reach. Lands at issue consist of the 1.2 million acres currently under the control of the state and federal government, as well as lands set aside as Hawaiian Home Lands. Hawaiians are not talking about privately owned land.

Land is at Heart of Sovereignty Issue

By: Trustee Rowena Akana
March 13, 1993

Source: Star Bulletin: Other Views

The general goal of sovereignty advocates is the transfer of control of ceded lands and Hawaiian Home Lands directly to a native Hawaiian government.

While most people realize this, few understand what these lands really are or how much they have been abused by their trustees.

Ceded lands are the remains of an estimated 1.8 million acres of public, private and crown land annexed by resolution from a provisional government to the United States in 1898. Hawaiian Home Lands, once part of ceded lands, are scattered tracts comprising about 200,000 acres Congress set aside for native Hawaiian homesteaders.

For the last l00 years, these land trusts have been impoverished through executive orders, land swaps, and general theft. With each change of government trusteeship were agreements to provide for the land’s inhabitants: the Hawaiians. Each trustee government, in turn has thoroughly mismanaged the inhabitants’ land. A few examples:

MILITARY

In 1959, when the Admissions Act turned responsibility for the remaining 1.2 million acres of ceded lands over to the new state of Hawaii, the federal government “set- aside” several hundred thousand bases for its military installations.

Today, more than 100 bases crowd the eight Hawaiian islands, a land area approximately the size of Rhode Island and Connecticut combined. The armed services control 10 percent of the state and 25 percent of Oahu. All the military bases occupy ceded lands, and at least six occupy – without consent or compensation – Hawaiian Home Lands. Among those, Pohakuloa on the Big Island is an Army training camp, Lualualei in Waianae is a Navy target range and Kekaha on Kauai is a Navy ammunition dump.

Kaho’olawe, The Target Island, was set aside by a presidential order for the military’s use during WWII. It was supposed to be cleared of ordnance and returned to human use after the war. Today, Kaho’olawe’s soil remains bomb-rich and human-poor — despite its placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

DEPARTMENT OF HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands estimates territorial and state governors issued between 40 and 60 executive orders setting aside Hawaiian Home Lands for military use. In 1978, a federal district court ruled all the governors’ executive orders were illegal.

In 1984, the governor ordered the DHHL to rescind nearly 30 of these illegal deals, covering some 30,000 acres. The state attorney general, meantime, decreed the U.S. Navy’s occupation of 1,400 acres of prime homelands near Honolulu to be a ‘fundamental breach of trust.’

Rather than evicting the offending land users, which include state and federal agencies, the DHHL opted for monetary settlements totaling less than $10 million. The DHHL did mount one challenge to evict the Navy, but the judge decided the department waited too long to sue.

However, the DHHL has evicted Hawaiians off land to which they held title, but the state never bothered to install utilities, roads and water as it is required.

Until recently, the DHHL had no funding to improve land management or infrastructure except the general use leases it was allowed to grant non-Hawaiians on land “not immediately needed” for homesteading. Consequently, the DHHL leased more land to non-Hawaiians than to Hawaiians.

Because of this, only 5,889 Hawaiian homestead leases had been awarded as of June, representing just 21.5 percent of the total Hawaiian Home Lands property, while 47.5 percent was under lease to non-Hawaiians.

Meanwhile, there are an estimated 14,400 qualified applicants in the Hawaiian Homes waiting list, many of whom have waited for 40 years or more.

Many more have died waiting.

DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES

For the state’s first 20 years, the Department of Land and Natural Resources managed ceded lands without scrutiny. Among other abuses, DLNR allowed use of ceded lands by other state departments without adequate compensation, and it executed a slew of summary land swaps. The land between Hanauma Bay and Waimanalo, once Hawaiian Home land, now belongs to just about everyone but Hawaiians.

In 1985, the state swapped a Big Island forest preserve for other acreage so Campbell Estate could construct a geothermal development, now plagued with technical problems and lawsuits.

In fact, until 1986 the DLNR didn’t even have an inventory of which state lands were ceded lands and which were not, and no one still knows the exact amount the state earns from this inventory. A 1986 “Final Report on the Public Lands Trust” did manage to identify some major parcels of ceded or Hawaiian Homes land commandeered for public use without compensation. A small sampling: Hilo Municipal Golf Course, Maui’s Waiehu Golf Course, Kauai’s Wailua Golf Course, Ala Wai Golf Course, Sand Island, Ala Moana Beach Park, Kapiolani Park, and their rentals, Honolulu Harbor, Kahului Harbor, Kewalo Basin, Keehi Lagoon, Honolulu International Airport, General Lyman Field, Molokai Airport and the University of Hawaii.
All occupy in part or whole ceded and/or Hawaiian Home lands — at the expense of Hawaiians and native Hawaiians.

When will this sickening litany of abuse, misuse and fraud end? When will the state or federal government keep a promise to the Hawaiian people? When will others stop managing our affairs in their interest, stop taking for theirs that which they agreed in writing was ours and stop actively campaigning against any meaningful resolution to our plight?

Hawaiians have some answers. Hawaii just needs to listen.

The Abuse, Misuse, and Theft of the Ceded Lands Trust

By Trustee Rowena Akana
March 5, 1993

Ceded lands are the remains of an estimated 1.8 million acres of public, private and crown land annexed by resolution from a provisional government to the United States in 1898. Hawaiian Home Lands, once part of ceded lands, are scattered tracts comprising about 200,000 acres Congress set aside in 1921 for native Hawaiian homesteaders.

For the last 100 years, these land trusts have been impoverished through executive orders, lands swaps, sales and general theft. With each change of government trusteeship were agreements to provide for the needs of the land’s inhabitants: the Hawaiians. Each trustee government, in turn, has thoroughly mismanaged the inhabitants’ land. A few examples for your reading displeasure:

MILITARY

In 1959, when the Admissions Act turned responsibility for the remaining 1.2 million acres of ceded lands over to the new State of Hawaii, the federal government “set aside” several hundred thousand acres for its military installations.

Today, more than 100 bases crowd the eight Hawaiian islands, a land area approximately the size of Rhode Island and Connecticut combined. The armed forces control 10 percent of the state and 25 percent of O’ahu. All the military bases occupy ceded lands, and at least six occupy — without consent or compensation – Hawaiian Home Lands. Among those, Pohakuloa on the Big Island is an Army training camp, Lualualei in Waianae is a Navy target range and Kekaha on Kauai is a Navy ammunition dump.

Kaho’olawe, The Target Island, was set aside by a presidential order for the military’s use during WWII. It was supposed to be cleared of ordnance and returned to human use after the war. Today, Kaho’olawe’s soil remains bomb-rich and human-poor — despite its placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

DEPARTMENT OF HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands estimates territorial and state governors issued between 40 and 60 executive orders setting aside Hawaiian Home Lands for military use. In 1978, a federal district court ruled all the governors’ executive orders were illegal.

In 1984, the governor ordered the DHHL to rescind nearly 30 of these illegal deals, covering some 30,000 acres. The state attorney general, meantime, decreed the U.S. Navy’s occupation of 1,400 acres of prime homelands near Honolulu to be a ‘fundamental breach of trust.’

Rather than evicting the offending land users, which include state and federal agencies, the DHHL opted for monetary settlements totaling less than $10 million. The DHHL did mount one challenge to evict the Navy, but the judge decided the department waited too long to sue.

However, the DHHL has evicted Hawaiians off land to which they held title, but the state never bothered to install utilities, roads and water as it is required.

Until recently, the DHHL had no funding to improve land management or infrastructure except the general use leases it was allowed to grant non-Hawaiians on land “not immediately needed” for homesteading. Consequently, the DHHL leased more land to non-Hawaiians than to Hawaiians.

Because of this, only 5,889 Hawaiian homestead leases had been awarded as of June, representing just 21.5 percent of the total Hawaiian Home Lands property, while 47.5 percent was under lease to non-Hawaiians.

Meanwhile, there are an estimated 14,400 qualified applicants in the Hawaiian Homes waiting list, many of whom have waited for 40 years or more.

Many more have died waiting.

DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES

For the state’s first 20 years, the Department of Land and Natural Resources managed ceded lands without scrutiny. Among other abuses, DLNR allowed use of ceded lands by other state departments without adequate compensation, and it executed a slew of summary land swaps. The land between Hanauma Bay and Waimanalo, once Hawaiian Home land, now belongs to just about everyone but Hawaiians.

In 1985, the state swapped a Big Island forest preserve for other acreage so Campbell Estate could construct a geothermal development, now plagued with technical problems and lawsuits.

In fact, until 1986 the DLNR didn’t even have an inventory of which state lands were ceded lands and which were not, and no one still knows the exact amount the state earns from this inventory. A 1986 “Final Report on the Public Lands Trust” did manage to identify some major parcels of ceded or Hawaiian Homes land commandeered for public use without compensation. A small sampling: Hilo Municipal Golf Course, Maui’s Waiehu Golf Course, Kauai’s Wailua Golf Course, Ala Wai Golf Course, Sand Island, Ala Moana Beach Park, Kapiolani Park, and their rentals, Honolulu Harbor, Kahului Harbor, Kewalo Basin, Keehi Lagoon, Honolulu International Airport, General Lyman Field, Molokai Airport and the University of Hawaii.
All occupy in part or whole ceded and/or Hawaiian Home lands — at the expense of Hawaiians and native Hawaiians.

When will this sickening litany of abuse, misuse and fraud end? When will the state or federal government keep a promise to the Hawaiian people? When will others stop managing our affairs in their interest, stop taking for theirs that which they agreed in writing was ours and stop actively campaigning against any meaningful resolution to our plight?

When? You have the answers.