Letter: Saiki should work to get OHA funding
April 23, 2023

by: Sylvia Hussey

House Speaker Scott Saiki has recently publicly acknowledged that remediation of a toxic landfill at Kakaako Makai and repairs to the wharf will likely cost more than $100 million (“Renegotiatenew Kakaako Makai settlement agreement for OHA,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, Feb. 12).

Saiki should follow through on his acknowledgement by working with his legislative colleagues to release the funds he projects the Office of Hawaiian Affairs needs to ensure the area is safe for all to use. In House Bill 133 HD1 SD2, the Senate has recognized $71 million of such a need — $65 million for the wharf repairs and $6 million for an environmental impact study.

At present, the state has a “legal easement” to Lot A, the former Fisherman’s Wharf site. The state controls docks, access and use of the wharf, and the collection of the related income; therefore, it reasons that the state is responsible for the maintenance and repairs of the area to ensure public safety.

Voters are watching and waiting for Saiki to lead, in collaboration with his Senate colleagues, to meet the state’s legal and moral obligation.

Sylvia M. Hussey

Ka pouhana/chief executive officer, Office of Hawaiian Affairs