EVERYONE VOTES FOR OHAOFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
What is OHA?
OHA is a state agency responsible for managing public trust resources to meet the needs of the Native Hawaiian community, and in turn, benefit the entire state.
What are public trust resources?
Public trust resources are assets generated from the income of the public land trust, which are distributed from the state to OHA annually.
How does OHA spend public trust resources?
OHA must spend public trust resources in support of its mission: Improving the well-being of Native Hawaiians for the betterment of all of Hawai‘i. It does this by stewarding public trust resources (its finances and investments) to support programs and advocacy efforts that benefit the Native Hawaiian community (health, education, housing, and jobs).
How much money does OHA manage?
Approximately $600 million dollars.
What does all of that money go to?
OHA gives millions of dollars annually in grants for healthcare, education, business, and real estate development to benefit Native Hawaiian beneficiaries whose ancestors resided in Hawai‘i before 1778.
Is OHA part of the state government?
Yes and no. OHA was established by the 1978 constitutional convention as a public trust with a specific mandate to better the conditions of the Native Hawaiian community. It is the only public trust of its kind in the United States. Chapter 10 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes sets forth the laws governing OHA, but, OHA operates as a semi-autonomous entity: it is not directly controlled by the governor’s office or the legislature. OHA is self-governing and the Board of Trustees set OHA’s policies and priorities and serve as fiduciaries of the public trust.
Who are the Trustees of OHA?
OHA is governed by a Board of Trustees whose members serve as fiduciaries of the public trust resources on behalf of Native Hawaiian beneficiaries. The Board has nine members elected to staggered four-year terms. There are four “At-Large” Trustees, and one Trustee each for Hawai‘i Island, O‘ahu, Maui, Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i, and Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau.
What is a fiduciary?
A fiduciary is someone who manages resources on behalf of someone else, and is required to fulfill certain duties: The Duty of Care, The Duty of Loyalty, The Duty of Good Faith, The Duty of Confidentiality, The Duty of Prudence, and The Duty of Disclosure.
How many seats are open this election?
Five seats in total: Three At-Large seats, the O‘ahu seat, and the Maui seat are on the ballot.
Who can vote for OHA?
Every registered voter in the State of Hawai‘i can vote for OHA trustees.
How many votes does a registered voter have in this year’s OHA election?
This year, every registered voter can select one person for the Maui seat, one person for the O‘ahu seat, and up to three persons for the At-Large seats.
Who should I vote for?
• You should vote for someone who will be a good steward of trust resources for the benefit of Native Hawaiians and all of those who call Hawai‘i home.
• You should vote for someone with a vision for a better Hawai‘i that includes expanded access to healthcare, housing, education, and good jobs.
• You should vote for someone who is educated and experienced.
• You should vote for someone who is trustworthy.