Thursday, July 18, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Hawai‘i Would Not be the Same Without Hawaiians
By Keli'i Akina PhD @ 6:50 PM :: 2186 Views :: OHA, Cost of Living

Hawai‘i Would Not be the Same Without Hawaiians

by OHA Trustee Keli‘i Akina, PhD, Ka Wai Ola, March 1, 2023

Hawaiʻi would not be the same without Hawaiians. However, more Hawaiians are moving out of Hawaiʻi every year.

According to the most recent U.S. Census, the Native Hawaiian population is growing faster in Nevada and California, while Honolulu is experiencing the largest decline of Native Hawaiian residents. There are actually more Native Hawaiians living in other states than there are living in Hawaiʻi. Just over 300,000 native Hawaiians are living throughout the islands while about 370,000 are living in other states.

What is the source of the problem? It is becoming clear every year that bad government policies are contributing to the growing exodus of Hawaiians from Hawaiʻi.

Kona Purdy is a Hawaiian father who recently made the difficult decision to move his family of nine out of Hawaiʻi. He resettled his family in Las Vegas. The Associated Press published his story. Purdy said that “it’s real ʻeha because you do get disconnected from the land, which we’re so connected to, being born and raised here.” Purdy’s sister, Lindsay Villarimo said, “it is exhausting trying to make ends meet. It’s heartbreaking that’s the choice we make…I think we just got priced out of home.” Purdy’s family story is just one of thousands of stories of Hawaiians moving away from the islands to pursue more affordable living.

Hawaiians cannot afford to live in Hawaiʻi. According to the Associated Press, a real estate brokerage has even been established to help Hawaiian families relocate from the islands to other states.

To put it in perspective, based on real estate values via Zillow, a single-family home in the Las Vegas area costs about $420,000. In Honolulu, a similar home costs over $1 million. According to the Honolulu Board of Realtors, the median price of a single-family home on Oʻahu is over $1.1 million. According to the Redfin real estate company, the median price of a single-family home in the State of Hawaiʻi is around $825,000.

It is widely recognized that Hawaiʻi has the highest cost of living in the United States. At the same time, workers on the islands earn some of the lowest wages in the country. In addition, the lack of investment in a local economy that is not dependent on the tourist sector prevents the generation of new wealth for Hawaiian workers.

Simply put, bad public policy is making it harder for Hawaiians to live in Hawaiʻi.

For example, Hawaiʻi has the second highest income tax rate in the United States. Hawaiʻi also imposes a regressive GE tax on food and medical services, something which many states have discontinued. Overregulation by the government related to land use, zoning, and housing policies makes it very difficult to allow new housing developments which include affordable housing units. These ineffective housing regulations restrict the opportunity to increase the supply of affordable housing that is needed to meet the rising demand.

And this is not just a problem for Hawaiians. All residents of the Aloha State are affected by government policies that drive up the cost of living.

All of us in Hawaiʻi must hana kākou (work together) to address the issue. We must work together to support policies that promote affordable housing development, reduce taxes, and develop an economy that generates new opportunities for businesses.

At the same time, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) has the obligation under the state constitution to better the conditions of Hawaiians. This includes helping Hawaiians afford to live and remain in Hawaiʻi.

ʻAʻohe Hawaiʻi me ka poʻe Hawaiʻi ʻole. Hawaiʻi would not be the same without Hawaiians.

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii