Molokai, office plans split rivals


POSTED: Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Three challengers are seeking the at-large seat occupied by state Office of Hawaiian Affairs Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona, including Colin C. Kippen, who opposes the agency's plan to build a cultural center and headquarters in Kakaako.

Kippen, the Native Hawaiian Education Council executive director, said the building money should be spent on giving more grants to native Hawaiians, and he dislikes the idea that the center would displace a homeless shelter.

Apoliona said the project would be partly funded by the state Legislature, and an agency survey found Hawaiians supported developing an office building.

She said the agency allowed the state to put the homeless on the land temporarily and is waiting for homeless to move before going forward with further plans for the project.

Two other challengers include Sol Nalua'i, an unsuccessful state House candidate, and preventive health-care specialist Helene Honda.

In the race for the Molokai seat, trustee Colette Machado faces Robert Waipa Purdy, who is against her support for a luxury development at Laau in West Molokai.

Purdy said Laau is a sacred place and that Molokai does not have enough water for the development.

Machado said the Molokai Ranch project would have helped to revive financing for the Kaluakoi resort, saving hundreds of jobs, and placed into a community trust some 26,200 acres for Molokai residents.

Another trustee facing an electoral challenge is Robert K. Lindsey, a state House member from 1984-86 who was appointed by the OHA board in 2007 to replace the late Linda Dela Cruz. Lindsey's challenger, William Meyers, a mental health service technician, wants to improve medical care available to native Hawaiians.