Native Hawaiian Community Leaders Unite to Oppose Cuts to HTA
April 23, 2021
As reported by NHCC member the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association (NaHHA), "[a] coalition of community leaders, cultural authorities, and visitor industry experts spoke out [on April 21] in opposition of eleventh-hour gut-and-replace changes to House Bill 862 in the Hawaiʻi State Senate.
The legislation threatens to eliminate three of the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority’s four strategic pillars, removing the agency’s ability to do anything except marketing Hawaiʻi, while dismantling the State’s ability to effective manage tourism for the benefit of Hawaiʻi’s residents, culture, and environment. As a result of language included in HB 862, programs for Hawaiian cultural training, local entrepreneurship, sustainability, and visitor assistance could be reduced or eliminated."
NHCC members John Aeto (the Kalaimoku Group and NaHHA Board President), Kekoa McClellan, Mehana Hind (Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement) and Peter Apo were some of those who shared their mana'o.
Decision making on the bill in a joint Legislative conference committee was scheduled for today at 11:30 a.m. and postponed until 7:30 p.m. The latest information on the Bill's status can be found HERE.
NHCC joined hundred of individuals and organizations who submitted testimony in opposition to House Bill 862. NHCC's testimony can be found HERE.