OHA Takes Stock of Kakaʻako Makai
October 9, 2022

By: Hulu Lindsey

Hulu Lindsey is chair of the board of trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

It is common knowledge that the state has been seriously delinquent on its debt to the Hawaiian people for their ceded lands. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) specifically had waited for years for its share of income and proceeds from the public lands trust as provided for under the state Constitution.

Finally in 2012, the state offered a payment of $200 million. The state proposed to discharge this debt by turning over 30 acres within Kakaʻako Makai to OHA. This was progress, albeit limited, and OHA accepted the 30 acres of land. The deal was predicated on the expectation that these lands could be developed to realize the $200 million.

This would create sustainable and continuous income, thereby growing the Native Hawaiian Trust Fund and providing an economic engine benefiting our people for generations to come. That income would expand the ability to fund OHA’s mission: the betterment of the conditions of Native Hawaiian people in education, health, housing and economic development, in strengthening our ‘ohana, mo‘omeheu and ‘āina (land and water).