Group wants
Akaka Bill hearings

Hui Pu criticizes OHA for not
discussing changes to the bill

A group opposed to the Akaka Bill demanded yesterday that the Office of Hawaiian Affairs hold hearings on every island so that the newest version of the controversial federal Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005 can be discussed publicly.


Ikaika Hussey: His group wants Hawaiians to have a chance to speak out about revisions

The recognition bill sets up a process for the federal government to recognize and interact with a "native Hawaiian governing entity," which has not yet been formulated, that would govern native Hawaiians. It is known as the Akaka Bill for U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, who introduced it.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said the bill could be debated as early as the week of July 18. Senators could vote on it no later than mid-August, when they must take up Supreme Court nominations and appropriation measures.

The controversial bill has many different groups supporting and opposing it.

OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona could not be reached for comment.

Ikaika Hussey, a spokesman for the opposition group Hui Pu, asked yesterday that OHA convene hearings on the bill, which has undergone revisions in the past five years.

Hussey said, "We the people have not had a clear presentation from the congressional offices on this bill, on our soil, nor have we had an opportunity to express our opinions."

Hussey said that OHA should "notify the U.S. Congress that no vote should be taken on this measure until such time as the people have had a chance to address the legislation at public hearings."

The group also criticized OHA for using its resources and Web site for the promotion of the bill. The group said OHA is using a poll on its Web site "to manufacture consent" for the bill by only allowing people to vote for the bill and not to reject it.

Hussey said, "This is reminiscent of the 1959 statehood vote, which offered our people two options of integration under U.S. rule" and not the choice to reject it.

Star-Bulletin reporter Gregg K. Kakesako contributed to this report.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs

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