Maui Council 2017


Local Issue Tracker: Native Hawaiian Issues

Native Hawaiian Issues Overview

This page of the Political Tracker is for monitoring federal, State, and County government bodies that are relevant to Native Hawaiian issues. At the State level are entities including the Department of Hawaiian Homelands and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (a self-governing and 'semi-autonomous' body). A number of County Council committees, county departments and commissions also address related issues, including the Maui County Cultural Resource Commission.

Native Hawaiian issues include the protection of important cultural lands and sacred sites, as well as Hawaiian language, health, economic and education issues. Also covered are rights to maintain cultural practices, and native land and water rights, as well as the larger issues of Hawaiian self-determination and national sovereignty. As stated in the 1993 "Apology Resolution" passed by Congress and President Clinton, "the indigenous Hawaiian people never directly relinquished their claims to their inherent sovereignty as a people or over their national lands to the United States." The resolution also calls for "reconciliation efforts between the United States and the Native Hawaiian people." (US Public Law 103-150). In recent years a lively debate has continued among native Hawaiians over what form their legal status should take. Should Hawaiians assert their sovereign rights and move toward international recognition, or pursue something akin to 'tribal recognition' within the United States?

For a more detailed overview of native Hawaiian issues see the Local Issues section of the website.

Toward True Democracy

Are you concerned about the state of political affairs at the local level and beyond? Are you drawn to do something about it? The Local Political Tracker is a collaborative tool for informing ourselves and each other, and reclaiming the democratic process. By monitoring key local issues and elected officials we can promote more transparent, accountable, and effective governance. True democracy requires more than just voting. It depends on an active and informed citizenry, and each one of us can do our part.

The Political Tracker concept is simple: as a volunteer you agree to monitor, or "adopt" one or more local issues, government bodies, or elected officials. You gather information, either by attending meetings, reviewing meeting minutes or video footage available online, summarizing news articles, or conducting interviews. You then post your notes via the Data Entry form below.

TRACKER DATA ENTRY FORM (for registered Tracker volunteers)

To post information to the Political Tracker one needs to first complete the volunteer registration process:


Listed below are local Political Tracker posts -- notes collected and entered by community volunteers. Posts are arranged chronologically, with the most recent post on top. Clicking on the purple post title will open the post in a separate window, and from there any registered site user may comment on the post. The Tracker is meant to provide factual information, and sources can include news articles, meeting minutes, interviews with experts and officials, etc. The Community Forum section of the website provides a space for open discussion on issues.

Mayor: “No such thing as sacred rocks.”

Quoted from Maui News article 2/19/17:

"Mayor Alan Arakawa is coming under fire from social media and elsewhere for saying in a televised “Hawaii News Now Sunrise” interview Friday that “there’s no such thing as sacred rocks.”

In discussing Maui County’s removal of thousands of tons of rocks that were washed downstream as part of the massive Sept. 13 flooding in Iao Valley, Arakawa told a statewide audience: “It’s very simple. There’s no such thing as sacred rocks. First of all, the monarchy, starting with Kamehameha, his lineage, declared Christianity the religion of Hawaii.

“In Christianity, if I remember the Ten Commandments correctly, ‘Thou shall have no false God before me,'” he continued. “There are no sacred rocks in that religion. We have a group of people that are political wannabes that ran for political office the last time, and they’re trying to make an issue out of nothing."


Petition to stop sand mining

From Maui Now article:

Mining of sand dunes containing Native Hawaiian burial sites is still happening in Central Maui, despite protests.