Letter: Allow OHA to build on Kakaako Makai
April 9, 2023

by: Warren Higa

At first I was opposed to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs trying to renege on its Kakaako Makai land deal, because a deal is a deal (“OHA rejects Kakaako Makai deal,” Star-Advertiser, April 7). But now that I’m seeing what’s happening in Kakaako, I’ve changed my mind. Let OHA build its housing. Let OHA provide badly needed housing for Native Hawaiians. It’s obviously good for Hawaiians and it won’t cost us $100 million.

Who will get hurt? Investors who buy those Kakaako condos to make money. Most don’t even live in those condos. They don’t know our land. They don’t respect our views. We’ve allowed developers to build this ugly 450-foot-high wall of hotels and condos along Kalakaua and now Ala Moana Boulevard that benefit the rich who can afford the millions to buy our ocean views.

Why not allow buildings along the shore that benefit Native Hawaiians?

Legislators should change the deal. Let OHA build for native people. There’s a lot of precedent for governments reneging on land deals involving native people. At least this time justice will be on your side.

Warren Higa