What is keeping a Hawaiian Homes/DHHL new lease awardee from building their own house?

DHHL Reforms? Did some research / search and destroy mission today:

What is keeping a Hawaiian Homes new lease awardee from building their own house?
(aka why cant i build my own house if i receive a DHHL lease?)

§10-3-34 Building requirements.  No building structure or improvement may be constructed on the premises without written approval from the commission. Such an approval shall be considered only after submission of a plan as to design, materials, and probable value and use of the structure to be built on the leasehold.  Building structures or improvements shall meet building and zoning codes and other ordinances and regulations of the respective counties except as otherwise provided by the commission.  [Eff7/30/81; am and comp 10/26/98]  (Auth:  HHC Act §222)(Imp: HHC Act §208)

The Federal Hawaiian Homes Commission Act does not require additional house plan approval, only the State regulations do. This is on top of any county housing code – a whole additional layer of blockage / red tape, just for Hawaiians.

When, where and how did this happen?

Act 75, 1986

What does this mean in practice for the past 30+ years?

The DHHL approval over all building plans must be how they force new lease awardees to use the preferred developer. If they don’t build with the developer, they can’t build their own either w/o approval, so then they lose the lease award after a year.

Why does DHHL have the power to deny lease awards for poor credit?

§10-3-22 Award of leases with outstanding indebtedness
No award of a residential, agricultural, or pastoral lot lease shall be made to an applicant whoh as not submitted sufficient evidence to the satisfaction of the department that the applicant is financially able to assume any indebtedness outstanding against the premises after the lease is awarded.  [Eff7/30/81; am 1/20/86; comp 10/26/98]  (Auth:  HHC Act§222) (Imp:  HHC Act §207)

What does this mean in practice for the past 30+ years?
This regulation, combined with the §10-3-34, is an additional burden on Hawaiian lease awardees. The banks administering federally-guaranteed loans should already be checking this, there is no need for the regulation in State code.

There may be only a single DHHL staffer processing loan applications at present.

How can we fix these regulations which have been keeping thousands of Hawaiians off of Hawaiian Homelands for decades?

  • draft State of Hawaii legislation to strike the clause(s) from Title 10
  • explain to legislators how this will benefit Hawaiians on the wait list, deal with Hawaii’s housing crisis, and Hawaii’s houseless crisis, and allow the State to fulfill the trust obligation to native Hawaiians.
  • the Governor has the power to direct the DHHL chair to approve all housing applications immediately, as it is duplicative/redundant with county codes, especially when there is a housing crisis. Communicating the new policy to the public is also needed, to solict all potential building applications by new lease awardees.

Hawaiʻi Administrative Rules, Title 10

HHCA Reference Guide

#PalapalaBrigades #HHCA #DHHLReform

Cryptocurrency Ecosystem Diagram

I’ve spent a lot of time studying, coding, and organizing in the bitcoin and crytpocurrency ecosystem in the past couple years. My main motivator is to make use of the opportunity – as a Hawaiian – to recover control over our economic sovereignty. Specifically working with Nation of Hawai’i on the Aloha Coin project, and related ones.

In the process, i’ve made a diagram of how the traditional financial and banking systems fit together, as well as how the cryptocurrency ecosystem relates to it, as well as how it can replace it.

This is my visual map:
Cryptocurrency Ecosystem

Aloha Coin Preview Part 3: Practical Mobile Wallet Usage (Android)

Using the Aloha Coin Wallet for Android.

This covers:

  • Downloading and installing the Aloha Coin Mobile Wallet for Android
  • Creating your wallet, using BIP44 Seed phrase, and setting a password for use
  • Backing up your seed phrase on paper, and physically securing it.
  • Restoring a wallet from seed phrase
  • Sending and receiving Aloha Coin in person
  • Sending and receiving Aloha Coin long-distance, using a secure chat app.

This follows my prior posts:



Statement on the Release of the DOI Final Rule 43 CFR Part 50

Statement regarding today’s release by the Dept. of Interior’s Final rule for reestablishing govt-to-govt relationship with the Native Hawaiian Community (43 CFR Part 50)

Sept 23, 2016

The U.S. has admitted to the crime of the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai’i, and stealing the Hawaiian National lands, in the 1993 Apology Law. (US Public Law 103-150).

When the U.S. signed on to the United Nations Charter in 1945, it agreed in Article 73(a). “to ensure, with due respect for the culture of the peoples concerned, their political, economic, social, and educational advancement, their just treatment, and their protection against abuses;”

As Hawaiians, without our National government, our National Sovereignty and right to self-determination resides in us, the “peoples concerned”. It is completely within our rights as Hawaiian Nationals under international law to unite in our sovereign Hawaiian nation.

The U.S. government knows this, but continues to suppress our nationality. They failed their sacred trust obligation to ensure respect for the culture of the peoples concerned – Hawaiian Nationals. Instead, they are proposing Hawaiians accept to a “domestic dependent nation” status, under this final rule to create a Native Hawaiian Governing Entity, under the management of the Department of Interior. In return, Hawaiians would receive none of our stolen lands, no additional benefits.

The DOI rule issued today states on Pg. 117 explains “re-establish govt to govt relations”.

The United States relationship with a Native Hawaiian Governing Entity would be “reestablished” in the sense that the United States previously maintained a formal relationship with a Native Hawaiian government, not that the former relationship between the United States and the Kingdom of Hawaii would resume or be resurrected.

This is the revisionism, bait-and-switch, getting us to accept their defining the Kingdom down from a co-equal Hawaiian National government to a Native Hawaiian government. Clearly, this is a means to settle reconciliation to the crimes admitted in the Apology Law.

Our kupuna rejected annexation in 1897 with the Ku’e petitions. There is no treaty of annexation. The U.S. has illegal status, but are attempting to legalize their status.

As a Kanaka Maoli living and working on the American continent, i reject the offer to go under the management of the DOI – an agency whose historical and current missions have been to dispossess Native peoples from their lands, subject them to genocidal oppression, and hand their resources over to be extracted for private benefit. Hawaiians stand in solidarity with our Native brothers and sisters on the continent. We know the pain they have endured and must find a better way.

I call on Hawaiians everywhere to unite in an Independent government, but NOT according to the criteria outlined in this final rule from the dept. of Interior.

Raul Nohea Goodness

ʻAha Aloha ʻĀina, taking stock, and healthy vs. unhealthy governance models

Companion video blog to this post:

I have worked with ‘Aha Aloha ‘Aina since early 2016. I feel the need today to take stock on what has been achived so far and what will be a critical role for ‘Aha Aloha ‘Aina to play . I want to say, i have co-hosted one ‘Aha event in NYC, but i do not speak for the coalition or leadership in any official capacity.

‘Aha Aloha ‘Aina formed around simple goals:

  • Na’i Aupuni ‘Aha doesn’t speak for Hawaiians as a group, and should not be allowed to make a deal with the DOI and the State of Hawaii in a global settlement

  • Demonstrate how Hawaiians have already been involved in nation building and rebuilding.

AAA came directly as the next stage in the Protest Na’i Aupuni group, sharing the key organizers. Knowing that the state-controlled push for Federal Recognition under the DOI was on a fast-track (months, not years, targeting the end of the Obama administration in 2016), the goals were intentionally limited, in order to build as a coalition of existing Hawaiian organizations.

I think it was wise to focus on pro-active and positive role the Independence advocates have had over many decades, and continue to do so. The rhetoric coming out of the Na’i Aupuni was attempting to tie pro-independence kanaka as for the “status quo”, which for Hawaiians, is an unacceptable outcome. (never mind that Fed Rec as conceived now under the DOI enshrines the status quo in Federal rule).

The adoption of the ancient framework for civil governance – the Kino – i think is a powerful way for Hawaiians to cut across our pre-existing governance models, and focus on a what a healthy government looks like. We need to keep exercising the parts of the kino, learning how to move independently as well as learning to move together with the other parts.

However, something must be stated clearly, because not everyone gets this: AAA’s implementation of the Kino intentionally does not have an excerise of the po’o = the head of government. Kalaniakea Wilson explained that “everyone wants to be the po’o, arguing over who it is”. So that was left out intentionally.

Leaving out the po’o is not a weakness, it is a definition of kuleana, a definition of role. AAA will not be creating or restoring a government. It creates the necessary space for the lahui to exercise movement politically – an opportunity to be cohesive. It is not in opposition to any independent political system – only in opposition to a Hawaiian government controlled by the State of Hawaii and the US Federal government.

It means that AAA’s focus is on the whole system – healthy governance system, different from what we live under now, in which the political, economic, social and cultural systems are segregated, diluted, and operating in opposition to each other, due to our history of oppression. We may not have all the answers, but at least we are asking the right questions, if we are to retake our self-governance. We don’t have to be perfect, but need to have processes to correct mistakes and move forward.

There is one more thing i need to say about ‘Aha Aloha ‘Aina and Protest Na’i aupuni– they scored a win on the political battlefield against Na’i Aupuni, “Native Hawaiian Nation” constitution and its successor “Aloha Lahui” by clearly demonstrating a large group of Hawaiians do not accept the state-controlled process for Federal Recognition under the DOI. The protests and resistance at the gate showed commitment, but a message which is not reported very widely is that Aha Aloha Aina has held over 20 ‘aha on the different islands, as well as a number on the continent. More that 2000 Hawaiians have participated in these ‘aha. We are finally being counted, because we are counting ourselves, following the direction of our kupuna a century ago. When Healani Sonoda-Pale delivered petitions to the Dept of Interior, and Kalama Niheu followed up by getting a meeting in the DOI with the director of Native Hawaiian Relations, it was to tell the agency Hawaiians will engage politically, in any way we feel is neccesary and effective. Those numbers demonstrate more support that Na’i Aupuni, as well as far more community involvement.

The Na’i Aupuni successor “Aloha Lahui” representative Jade Danner declared their referendum election put off for more than a year, moved from 2016 to late 2017, due to a lack of private fundraising efforts. This is a tactical retreat on their part. They do not have the community, nor the private funds for the elections, because the Hawaiian community, as well as the non-Hawaiian know it is “no good”. Hawaiian leaders who asked to be represented in Maunawili without signing on to Act 195 were arrested, but do date, all had charges dismissed – one dismissed with prejudice because the Na’i aupuni ‘aha was a political event, under Hawaii Revised Statues, any potential tresspass charge must respect constitutional protections. Hawaiians spoke via ‘Aha Aloha ‘Aina, as well as leaders engaging Kana’iolowalu/Na’i aupuni, but either resigned the process (like Bumpy Kanahele) or others inside who voted ‘no’ or abstained intentionally.

I just think we should take stock of the significant achievement at this point in time. The DOI final rule may be coming soon, but the Na’i aupuin/Aloha Lahui referendum process is struggling for relevance. Maybe some will adjust and start looking for more productive governance. ‘Aha Aloha ‘Aina will be a part of healthy governance. I look forward to it. Love you all, Aloha!

– Raul Nohea Goodness

The day after closing of the Na’i Aupuni ‘Aha 2016

Aloha everyone, here is my update one day after the close on day 20 of the Na’i Aupuni ‘Aha 2016.

– A governing document was officially adopted by the body on the afternoon of the last day by roll call vote. 88 yes, 30 no, 1 abstain, and a number not in the room during that vote (likely by their own intent). It is called the “Constitution of the Native Hawaiian Nation”.
– The document could be put to a referendum vote in the near future for approval.
– A Declaration was also officially adopted by the body.
– Committee work was accepted in report by the body, but not adopted. This includes the Maunawili 1 and 2 declarations by Williamson Chang, a constitution provided by Keoni Agard and Jimmy Wong, as well as a constitution provided by Poka Laenui. I’m not going to comment on the source of the documents, due to disagreements and my lack of knowledge on the matter.

I’m going to make my own brief assessments on the final adopted constitution:
– It is a “Federal Recognition”-ready document, with one possible exception.
– It references our roots to the lands and history from time immemorial, pre-1778.
– There is no mention of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the sovereign Nation-state, from Kamehameha I to the overthrow and Newlands resolution.
– The exception is the claim to “national lands”, not explicitly defining it.
– No claim to title of those lands lost in the overthrow and Newlands resolution (Act of Annexation).
– There is no constitutional continuity with any Kingdom constitution or law.
– There is a claim to territory, but not directly naming the Hawaiian Kingdom territory. The government shall pursue return of the national lands, or just compensation.
– There are sections on defining Native Hawaiians, and citizenship will be limited to Native Hawaiians who enroll.
– The referendum vote will be open to all “eligible for citizenship”, which is Native Hawaiians over 18 years old. There is NOT a requirement to be on any specific roll.

– There is a section in the preamble which was the source of much debate and political back and forth: “We reaffirm the National Sovereignty of the Nation. We reserve all rights to Sovereignty and Self-determination, including the pursuit of independence.”

There is a strong concern this could prevent the Feds from granting U.S. Federal Recognition to the Native Hawaiian government. However, the governing document would likely not have received the ‘yes’ votes it did without that line. There are going to be much more detail coming out about this internal negotiations, i won’t go into it it right now. Lanakila and Lilikala made reference to it on the floor Friday.

– A separate “Declaration of the Sovereignty of the Native Hawaiian Nation” was also adopted. This document does have a lot of historical context which would have been in the preamble, but was stripped out. It passed with overwhelming support. It does contain facts of our history including events before, during, and after the time of the Kingdom of Hawaii up to the present day.

– The entire ‘Aha was product-oriented, not process-oriented. Discussion of the substantive issues was restricted in the interest of achieving a product (governing document) by the deadline imposed by the Na’i Aupuni organizers. The result is a functional, but sterile constitution which will likely pass a Department of Interior Federal Recognition process once the proposed rule is finalized.

I have much more to say and discuss on this process and product, this is a quick update.


– Raul Nohea Goodness

Proposing a referendum vote before approval of Federal Recognition

Proposing a clause in the Na’i Aupuni ‘Aha governing document (and any other) to require a referendum vote BEFORE a future Hawaiian government makes a formal request for U.S. Federal Recognition (under the Dept. of Interior rules).

The reason? If a government is created, the Executive committee stated the future Executive will be empowered to request “Fed Rec” from the Dept. of Interior, ratified by the future Legistlature. That means if you are Hawaiian, you will NOT ever be specifically asked if you want to integrate sovereignty with the U.S. You could then be forced to start doing all your interactions as a Hawaiian to the U.S. Federal government through this new entity being created.

Currently Hawaiians ARE recognized by the U.S. via the Hawaiian Homestead Commission Act (HHCA), and over a hundred other laws. There are many disadvantages to changing to go under the DOI in the future, and deserves a full public education, debate, and discussion of the issues before signing off. If a requirement for referendum is not added, the input of the Hawaiian people would likely be ignored.

For those who are pro-Federal Recognition, there would also be the benefit of making the approval of any Hawaiian governing document more likely to be approved. There is little trust from the community in the Kana’iolowalu / Na’i Aupuni process, largely due to the fear that a new government will be empowered immediately to take action without limit on behalf of all Hawaiians.

If there is a limit on the government power to get U.S. Federal Recognition (until approved by voter referendum), then it would actually have the time to build trust and convince Hawaiians it can be trusted to be the primary political entity for us. No matter what method Hawaiians come together politically, this stage will be needed.

Currently, these are the steps required for a Native Hawaiian Governing Entity to request and receive U.S. Federal Recognition (under the current DOI proposed rule):

  • Create a governing document (which ‘fits’ the DOI rule requirements)
  • Send it to Native Hawaiians to vote to accept/reject it via referendum vote
  • The governing document vote must pass, and the ‘yes’ votes must have “broad-based support” (more than 30,000 to 50,000 votes)
  • Populate the government positions based on the document (elect Executive and Legislators)
  • Executive may write a formal request for U.S. Federal Recognition (submitting a letter on how the government was created)
  • If the Secretary of Interior approves the request, the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity is granted Federal Recognition as a native government, similar to tribal entities. However, with no land transferred or any other claims or negotiation in advance. No opportunity for voters to approve.

I am proposing adding a simple step to the governing document:

  • Any formal treaty or request to integrate sovereignty with another sovereign entity (including U.S. Federal Recognition) shall first be approved through a referendum of all recognized voters, without exception.


By putting aside the most controversial issues for our lahui, we allow any future Hawaiian government time to build trust and respect of our lahui.

Mahalo nui for your consideration.

– Raul Nohea Goodness

A Proposal for Hawaiian Elections and Political Cohesion

by Raul Nohea Goodness, January 31, 2016

    1. Background

In February 2016, the new non-profit corporation called Na’i Aupuni is convening an ‘Aha for Hawaiians for the purpose of writing a constitution or governing document for a Hawaiian government.

The participants initially were to be elected delegates, and did stand for election via a process completely run by an outside contractor (Election America) which implemented the process of candidate registration and voting for delegates, via Internet voting and mail voting. There were no in-person polling places, and no planned oversight of the voting tabulation.

During the voting in November 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a stay on the vote counting and certification of the election (Akina v. Hawaii). In December 2015, the Na’i Aupuni directors declared the election canceled, and proposed an ‘Aha consisting of the unelected candidates. Although now not vested with any electoral authority, these participants are still being asked to create a constitution for a Hawaiian government, based on the principle of self-determination. This constitution would be voted to be approved or rejected by the registered Native Hawaiian voters (possibly with the same Kana’iolowalu voter roll which the U.S. Supreme court stopped vote counting on).

This proposal is a political one, not a legal case. I hold that we Kanaka Maoli and descendants of Hawaiian Nationals should determine our own path in the political realm together.

Please not that although I am proposing this in the context of the Na’i Aupuni process in 2016, it would likely be the same proposal for any other Hawaiian nation-building process, whether state-sponsored or grassroots.

    1. Rationale for a Hawaiian voter list which expands or replaces Kana’iolowalu

In 2011, the State of Hawaii passed Act 195, which created the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission (aka Kana’iolowalu).

The purpose of this Act is to recognize Native Hawaiians as the only indigenous, aboriginal, maoli population of Hawai‘i. It is also the State’s desire to support the continuing development of a reorganized Native Hawaiian governing entity and, ultimately, the federal recognition of Native Hawaiians.

It created a commission to register and certify people of Hawaiian ancestry which predates the arrival of Europeans in 1778. Furthermore, it required political and cultural affirmations, in order to sign up:

  • I affirm the unrelinquished sovereignty of the Native Hawaiian people, and my intent to participate in the process of self-governance.
  • I have a significant cultural, social or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community.

After the roll was open for 2 years, it failed to attract anywhere near the goal of registering 200,000 people. Reported numbers were in the 20,000 to 40,000 range.

Reasons for the low participation rate may include the following:

  • Lack of trust by Hawaiians in the State-driven nation-building process, especially after the failed effort to create a government through a joint resolution (the Akaka bill)
  • Disagreement with the specific affirmation to create “governing entity”, due to disagreement with the expected outcome – U.S. Federal Recognition of that entity under the Dept. of Interior, similar to other Native tribal governments
  • Disagreement with the exclusion of Hawaiian Subject descendants, since they have the clearest claim as the wronged parties to the overthrow of the Kingdom and dispossession of their nation, their land, their language and culture.
  • Lack of effort in engaging the public in the substantive issues involved in nation-building.

When the State passed Act 77 in 2013, it transferred names from the OHA Registry and the DHHL list to Kana’iolowalu voter rolls. This action increased the voter roll to above 120,000 names. This is significant, because any election needs to demonstrate broad-based support from the Native Hawaiian community in order to show legitimacy. The action additionally served to reduce trust in the process, since many of those people intentionally did not sign onto Kana’iolowalu, intending not to validate the rush to Federal Recognition.

When Na’i Aupuni directors planned their elections, they specifically decided to recognize only the Kana’iolowalu list. They specifically rejected the use of any other registry or list.

The nature of the State-driven and OHA-sponsored nation-building process (having U.S. Federal Recognition as a stated goal) has set back the process of Hawaiian political organization for many years. Many other historical facts have become known to us over the past 20 years– our decisions today should be informed by them. By making a controversial outcome the goal– one which is either not generally accepted nor understood by Hawaiians– has alienated many from the process. I accept many have supported Federal Recognition for fair reasons on principle or just tactically. However, even if that turns out to be the best choice for us in the near future, it cannot be done by bypassing the majority of Hawaiians who have stayed out of Kana’iolowalu and Na’i Aupuni due to a lack of trust or understanding. They must be brought in before a referendum vote is held, and it must be an informed vote.

We should come to the conclusion soon that Hawaiians are in one wa’a – the same boat. Forward progress must come together.

    1. What is the alternative to Federal Recognition right now?

A common question from the pro-”fed rec” camp is: “what is the alternative?”. The intent of the line of argument is to present the alternatives as impossible, thus leaving Federal Recognition as the road to take– immediately— while the Obama administration is still in place.

Basically, the arguments boil down to:

  • There is no existing legal process for an Independent Nation-State which can compel enforcement on the U.S., either thru de-occupation or thru de-colonization.
  • There is an existing U.S. legal process for granting “Inherent Sovereignty” (a legal term in the context of Federal Indian law) to Native Hawaiians based on indigenous rights. Let’s get what we can now, because we may get nothing in the future.
  • Existing Native Hawaiian Federal programs need to be protected from lawsuits.

The arguments against “Fed Rec” include:

  • We have a Nation or Kingdom already, which was suppressed. Hawaiians never surrendered sovereignty. There is no treaty of annexation. Requesting Federal Recognition under the U.S. Dept. of Interior (DOI) will surrender those claims, or make them very difficult to assert.
  • The offer proposed for Federal Recognition includes no land transfer at all (no land base for our nation) except Kaho’olawe. We receive no new Federal benefits other than what we already have. In return, Hawaiians as a group agree explicitly to go under U.S. sovereignty for the first time ever.

Leaving aside the many arguments for and against (which there are many), there is a more problematic truth to these debates:

  • If Hawaiians cannot form a cohesive unified political entity, through a representative and inclusive process, then whatever entity makes the request for “Federal Recognition” is acting without authority from the Hawaiians at large.
  • Due to the polarization around this issue, Hawaiians cannot form a cohesive political entity. Those for and against Federal Recognition will continue to veto each other.

I propose that the alternative to accepting the offer on the table today from the Dept. of Interior should not be the “status quo” situation (Hawaiians divided politically in the State of Hawaii and U.S. system). The positive alternative is for Hawaiians to put aside the most divisive issue (requesting Federal Recognition) and organize around a unifying platform of governance.

Protection of sacred places is the most unifying issue in the present. Pro-independent, pro-Kingdom, pro-fedrec, and unaffiliated Hawaiians united to protect Mauna Kea from the construction of the TMT. There are other issues to hui on: getting the Hawaiians on Hawaiian lands, expanding language and cultural rights, fixing or taking control of the DHHL situation, asserting our leverage from a position independent from the State of Hawaii. If we can get more funds via OHA, let’s do it. If we have to assert leverage outside the State of Hawaii system through political action, let’s do it.

Those who are in favor of U.S. Federal Recognition may use the time to educate, discuss, and organize with the whole lahui. Pro-independent Hawaiians should do the same. Even pro-fedrec Hawaiians are insulted when they read the terms of the proposed rules for Federal Recognition from the Dept. of Interior. No transfer of land controlled by the Federal or State of Hawaii, no new benefits, just a possibility to talk directly to the Federal and State governments officially.

The battle over “Fed Rec” vs. Independent Nation-state will go on, but in the near term, that battle is holding Hawaiians in the status quo. The way forward is for Hawaiians to find a way to address the political objectives we share in the context of losing our power in the face of ruthless economic and political forces.

    1. Rationale for a Trusted Electoral System

Once Hawaiians come to a political consensus to embark into Nation-building or Government-building together, elections are a likely to be the next steps, whether they be for referendum on a constitution, or for representatives. When the stakeholders decide to vest their trust into an electoral process, the perceived legitimacy of the election becomes essential. Otherwise, political groups will continue to leave the process or remain outside it. This further serves to dilute the political leverage of Kanaka Maoli, whose interests have not been well served under the State of Hawaii and U.S. Federal government.

This is where knowledge and experience of electoral practices comes into the picture. If different political parties are in an election, there must be trust it is conducted fairly. Otherwise, the cohesion of the government will break apart again. Many governments around the world have faced these issues, and Hawaiians may employ similar means, if we only seek them out and ask. However, the political will to do so comes first.

    1. Maoli vs. National Electorate

To be blunt, this is another divisive issue, but an important one to establish from the outset of any electoral process. Hawaiians are an inclusive people, and most consider anyone of Native Hawaiian ancestry to be Hawaiian.

Hawaiian” was also the term used in the 19th century to mean a Hawaiian National/Subject of the Kingdom of Hawai’i, regardless of koko (blood). The majority of Hawaiian Nationals were Kanaka Maoli, but some were not.

It stands to reason the descendants of those Nationals were the parties which deserve reclamation of their nationality. Arguably, reducing the nation to those with the koko will also undermine the case for a Hawaiian political and cultural identity.

However, for those desiring to pursue Hawaiian indigenous path to Federal Recognition, the U.S. Federal rules currently require only Native ancestry, and excluding those with only non-native ancestry.

Ironically, it is the indigenous ancestry requirement combined with State-action that compelled the U.S. Supreme court to stay the Na’i Aupuni election. If either the voter roll were expanded to include Hawaiian National descendants, or if the election were not controlled by the State of Hawaii, it would likely not be blocked in the courts.

It has to be up to Hawaiians to decide the bounds of our nation, and ultimately, our electorate. I see the options this way:

  • If the electorate is to be Kanaka Maoli only, it should be as inclusive as possible within those parameters.
  • If the electorate is to be Kanaka Maoli and descendants of Hawaiian Nation Subjects, it would allow for voter registration based on Kingdom records or the 1897 Ku’e Petition.

The implementation of the Kana’iolowalu roll specifically leaves out non-native Hawaiian Nationals, but also fails on the first goal of registering Kanaka Maoli in any significant numbers. Participation and inclusion in nation-building will only come about through a trusted process which is understood by Hawaiians at-large and brings in the different political groups.

Fair and transparent elections are a part of building that trust.

    1. Specific Electoral Proposals

Since a new referendum vote on a constitution is a likely outcome for the Na’i Aupuni ‘Aha, this is the opportunity for correcting the electoral problems. Here are my proposals:

  • Internet voting should be abandoned. There is no way for it to be audited by the public, and is still not trusted in U.S. or International elections.
  • Voting/polling should be done via paper ballot (preferably computer scannable) in-person at polling places in Hawai’i
  • Voting by mail should also be available for voters outside Hawai’i or those requesting absentee ballots. Vote by mail should be sent in 2 envelopes, so that the knowledge of the ballot results cannot be connected with the sender.
  • There must be a dispute resolution process for any irregularities in the system of running, registering, voting, and tabulation/certification.
  • A board or committee from a range of political backgrounds should be managing any election.
  • 3rd party contractors should not be given control over the voting mechanisms.
  • Registration for voting should be done using trusted registries on who is Hawaiian. These could include the OHA Registry or the DHHL list (if available), and could include others if they conform to the criteria agreed upon.
  • Provisional ballots cast for voting day irregularities or registration omissions should be considered in the process as well. Determination for inclusion or rejection of those ballots should be done by a mixed political panel.
  • We should request Electoral Assistance from well-established NGOs (such as International IDEA or the Carter Center). They will have the best-practices available internationally for demonstrating a fair vote to all parties involved. They recommend, but we implement for ourselves.
    1. My analysis for requirements for Hawaiian cohesion in the near-term:

Reflecting on the current state of Hawaiian politics, I believe Kanaka Maoli and those with Hawaiian National identity will not be able to assert significant political power unless the most divisive issues are put to the side. Those issues are the rush to request Federal Recognition in 2016, and possibly settle claims on the “ceded” land trust. If we can limit the capability of any Hawaiian government or organization to put those aside (or otherwise take a referendum with full participation of lahui to achieve), and we still have political cohesion, then we can address the near terms issues while having the time to work on our long-term objectives.

Raul Nohea Goodness is a Kanaka Maoli Software Architect and Developer raised in Wailuku, HI, and currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. As a former delegate candidate, he is a participant in the Na‘i Aupuni ‘Aha. http://www.hekili.net

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