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Thursday, April 6, 2023
OHA Rejects $100M Offer--Sees More Profit in Lying About Kakaako Makai
By News Release @ 11:50 PM :: 2525 Views :: Honolulu County, Ethics, Development, OHA

Slush Fund: House Speaker Offers OHA $100M To Stop Lying About Kakaako High Rises

CB Apr 5, 2023: … OHAʻs proposal to build the residential towers was rejected by the Legislature, but OHA has made it clear it will keep trying to build the condo towers by continuing to urge the state to toss out a 2006 law that prohibits such construction on all land makai of Ala Moana Boulevard.

Saiki met with Office of Hawaiian Affairs Chairwoman Carmen Hulu Lindsey and Gov. Josh Green in the governor's office Friday to discuss the new offer that asks OHA to accept a cash payment to prevent the high rises. It also proposes an increase in the state's annual payments to OHA from the public lands revenues.  

Here are the highlights of Saikiʻs offer to OHA as outlined in a letter he sent to Lindsey on Monday:

Pay OHA $100 million for a public easement to prohibit residential development in order to preserve public access, scenic views and building height and density in Kakaako Makai.

$65 million to OHA for wharf repairs the agency says are badly needed on the revetments in the former Fishermanʻs Wharf area.

Increase OHAʻs share of Public Land Trust revenues from the current $21.5 million a year to $25 million beginning January and to increase payments to OHA annually using a formula of a three-year average of the Consumer Price Index.

Pay $100,000 to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to put an inventory of the Public Land Trust properties on line to make the information easily searchable by the public.

In urging OHA to act promptly, Saiki says the proposal would be funded with money from the current state budget surplus and that there is no guarantee such a surplus will be there in the future….

(CLUE: That’s called a ‘takeaway.’)

OHA’s public relations consultant Ryan Kawailani Ozawa says the agency is not ready to respond to Saiki’s offer….

Also Today: Supreme Court: OHA Can Hide its Crooked Deals in Executive Session  (this is not a coincidence)

Big Q: Should the Office of Hawaiian Affairs have accepted $165M plus $3.5M more annually for a Kakaako Makai public covenant banning residences and limiting building heights?

SA: Kakaako Makai deal proposed

PDF: Saiki Letter

REALITY:  Dead Bodies, Convicted Felons and Kakaako Makai: Meet the new Gang at OHA

REALITY: Abercrombie: OHA Should Stop Lying About Kakaako Makai Deal

read … House Speaker Offers OHA $100M To Can Kakaako High Rises

  *   *   *   *   *

OHA Trustees reject proposal from House Speaker

“We are not asking for special treatment. We are asking for equal treatment,” Chair Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey says.

News release from OHA, April 7, 2023

HONOLULU (April 6, 2023) – The Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees, recognizing both the significance and time sensitivity of Hawaiʻi House Speaker Scott Saiki’s proposal regarding development plans for OHA’s land in Kaka‘ako Makai, convened a special meeting at its headquarters at Nā Lama Kukui in Iwilei today.

The proposal, articulated in writing per OHA’s request in an April 3 letter regarding Senate Bill No. 1235, SD2, HD1 (Proposed), followed an in-person meeting between Speaker Saiki, OHA Chair Carmen Hulu Lindsey, and other OHA trustees.

The meeting included an executive session where the Trustees carefully reviewed and discussed the proposal before returning to regular session for an open vote.

While OHA appreciates that Speaker Saiki clearly recognizes the overarching need to make OHA whole, and acknowledges the historic nature of his latest proposal, the Trustees nonetheless found that both the terms and funds offered remain far off the mark. As a result, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to reject the offer.

The Trustees and its advisors agree on several key reasons why the proposal could not be accepted. These include:

--The dollar values specified, in the aggregate, still represent a small fraction of the total make-whole value owed to OHA, notwithstanding the escape clauses regarding future state budget surpluses.

--The prohibition of residential development via a “perpetual easement” has too adverse of an impact on the future value of Hakuone lands, and thus its critical, long-term role as an economic engine for OHA and its beneficiaries.

--The use of future Public Land Trust obligations to pay off a past Public Land Trust obligation is not acceptable.

OHA gratefully acknowledges Speaker Saiki’s public overtures for a compromise, and for proposing a legislative solution so late in the current session—even entertaining the possibility of a special session. The Board of Trustees sincerely hopes that these developments reflect a much-needed thawing of entrenched positions and a meaningful start to open discussions and negotiations on this issue.

Ultimately, OHA maintains that the best and most appropriate venue for this debate is in public, at the Capitol, in both chambers of the legislature. As significant as these external negotiations are, OHA remains disappointed that a bill to repeal the restriction on residential development in Kaka‘ako Makai was not allowed a fair hearing in the House, despite progressing in the Senate.

“Let’s be clear: we are not asking for special treatment. We are asking for equal treatment,” says OHA Chair Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey. “We are asking to be accorded the same privileges as the developers from the mainland whose towers continue to go up, unimpeded, just across from Hakuone.”

Lindsey further states: “I am tired of seeing Kānaka Maoli dominate the statistics for houselessness, incarceration, and serious diseases. It breaks my heart to see children living with their parents in encampments and on sidewalks. Our lāhui and future generations of our beneficiaries would reap the benefits that would flow from OHA’s development of Hakuone. We see it as an economic engine, a place close to the urban core, where we can showcase our culture, allow families to thrive, and encourage business growth. We believe it would be a positive step towards fulfilling our sacred mission to foster the well-being of Native Hawaiians.”

Learn more about Hakuone at


CB: OHA Trustees Reject $100M To Abandon High Rise Plans In Kakaako


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