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Hakuone: OHA’s by Kanaka for Kanaka development in Kakaʻako Makai.


Hakuone: OHA’s by Kanaka for Kanaka development in Kakaʻako Makai.

By The NHCC Board of Directors, for Ka Wai Ola January 2023

The Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce supports the right of OHA to develop lands it owns as it sees fit in order to serve Kanaka ʻŌiwi. We support Hakuone, OHA’s development of the land it owns in Kakaʻako Makai. The Chamberʻs mission includes providing access to and opportunities for Kanaka-owned businesses to grow and thrive in Hawaiʻi. Hakuone will contribute to this effort in major ways.

The State is required, by law, to pay OHA 20% of the total revenue made from ceded lands. In 2012, the State gave OHA 30 acres of land in Kaka'ako Makai in lieu of the more than $200 million owed to OHA. The value, presented by the State, included residential development. This shows the State was willing to reverse its restrictions in the area. This was a “take it or leave it” deal because the State was broke. The pressure to accept was further intensified by the State’s history of not paying what it owes to Kanaka. This deal only makes good on the State’s “payment,” if OHA is allowed to develop these lands to its highest and best use – that includes residential.

The Chamber sees the ability for OHA to develop itʻs land in Kakaʻako Makai as just and fair. Look across the street at the many residential and commercial developments that exist and are being planned only 200 feet mauka of OHA’s lands. Why is it that all of these projects are allowed, but when it comes to Kanaka creating a space where our culture, our presence, and our economic wellbeing is front and center among others capitalizing on our people and culture that it’s a problem? Kanaka and Kanaka-owned businesses have the right to re-exert ourselves in an area our people thrived in for generations.

There is a total of 221 acres of land in Kakaʻako Makai. OHA owns 30 acres, only 14% of that. The City & County owns 47 acres designated for parks and the entire shoreline in Kakaʻako Makai – all public lands. The Hakuone Master Plan is built around a Hawaiian Cultural Center where cultural practices, education, the arts, and entrepreneurship are the focal point for the community. Hakuone returns a community stronghold in urban Honolulu to Kanaka.

OHA has a strong Board, highly capable organizational leadership, and committed staff. They have a great master plan for Hakuone and broad support in the State Senate. OHA needs that same kind of support in the State House. The NHCC will be supporting OHA in the 2023 legislative session and urges everyone to support this project by calling your elected officials at all levels, giving testimonies in support, either in person or in writing, and sharing information on the progress of the project with friends, family and coworkers. OHA has started announcing virtual, public, town hall meetings and we encourage everyone to participate. OHA wants to update you on the latest with Hakuone and hear your manaʻo. Information on upcoming meetings can be found at or on social media @HakuoneHI.

The mission of the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce is to mālama Native Hawaiians in business and commerce through leadership, relationships and connections to economic resources and opportunities. Learn more at