DHHL is in control of the land located at 820 Isenberg Street in Honolulu totaling over 80,000 square feet of prime high-rise residential real estate.
Why such an asset has for decades with its abandoned bowling alley and open parking lot been so long neglected serves to highlight the inadequacy of the present state-run stewardship of land assets which rightfully belong to the decedents of native Hawaiians.
One can imagine that among the homeless passing through the adjacent Honolulu Stadium State Park there are descendants of native Hawaiians for whom land assets such as this were intended to provide a better and more prosperous life!
It is not for the lack of care or the generosity of the original Hawaiian Benefactors that we have reached this state of affairs, for modern Hawaii bears little resemblance culturally or politically to the world in which they lived. They could not have foreseen that democratically elected government would be a conflicted choice for administrating the assets they left behind, or that one day Hawaiians would become a minority in the state that bears their name.
At the same time the average Hawaiian has become sophisticated in the nature of Western land ownership and economic policies far greater than the Hawaiian Alii of over a hundred years ago. There is no reason those of Hawaiian descent need any agency outside of their own choosing to administrate the assets that are rightfully theirs. They need only to decide (and take action) regarding which economic structure is the most efficient in administrating these assets to obtain the broadest prosperity for the Hawaiian people.
If Hawaiians are to preserve their culture they need Economic Sovereignty and direct control of all Hawaiian assets contained in OHA and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands. The need is for an administrative structure legally endowed to steward these assets, under the direction of the Native Hawaiians beneficiaries, without the present inherent social/political conflicts of state control.
Economic Sovereignty is the basis in which the Hawaiian culture can survive and thrive into the future.
The $600+ million dollars under OHA control and the 200,000+ acres residing under the Department of Hawaiian Homelands requires a new and dynamic approach to their combined asset management for the highest good of the Native Hawaiian beneficiaries. Such an approach of competent and responsive governance will undoubtedly prove, in the long run, of benefit to the entire state!
Without taking action to secure these assets under a Native Hawaiian Corporation the trend-line is that all assets reserved for Native Hawaiians under state jurisdiction will eventually be lost:
- Rive vs Cayetano has compromised the social/political mandate the designers envisioned for OHA as a singular responsive advocate for Hawaiian assets.
- The on and off controversy of Kamehameha School’s entrance policy reserved for those of native Hawaiian decent and the 2008 disclosure of a seven million dollar settlement in a non-Hawaiian school entrance discrimination lawsuit highlights the frailty of the present system.
A Native Hawaiian Corporation would be a strong and independent advocate of native Hawaiians issues and represents the best route in securing the assets belonging to and reserved for native Hawaiians and their descendants for this and future generations.