Contact: Noa Emmett Aluli, M.D. 808-553-5353
Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana opposes bill that erodes sovereign status of island (Honolulu, O‘ahu). The Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana (‘Ohana) will testify tomorrow in strong opposition to Senate Bill 3056, a bill before the Hawai‘i State Senate Committee on Water, Land and Housing. SB 3056 proposes the transfer of management of the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve from the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC) to the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR).
The Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve was intentionally “not placed back into the DLNR inventory, it was set aside with a special commission to say that it actually belonged to the Hawaiian Nation. You can talk about it coming back to the state of Hawai‘i, but it was specifically set aside by the people of this state, by their elected representatives, as the first piece of sovereign soil.” Governor John Waihe‘e III reminded state senators on February 11, 2011.
The KIRC was set up in 1993, after years of study, islandswide community input, and deliberation as to the future of Kaho‘olawe. The Reserve is managed as sovereign soil. The KIRC is purposefully composed of those who have greatest investment to develop policy and oversight: Office of Hawaiian Affairs, County of Maui, DLNR, Hawaiian organizations and the Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana.
SB 3056 proposes removing the special sovereign status of Kaho‘olawe at the same time Act 195 establishes the Native Hawaiian Roll Call Commission that will lead to a sovereign Native Hawaiian governing entity.
Mr. Joshua Ka‘akua will present the testimony of the Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana at the hearing tomorrow at 1:45 PM at the State Capitol before the Senate Committee on Water, Land and Housing. Dr. Noa Emmett Aluli can also be reached at (808) 553-5353 or naluli(at)aloha.net.