HONOLULU STAR ADVERTISER INTERVIEW WITH OHA TRUSTEE CANDIDATE KEALII MAKEKAU
Full Name: Keali‘i Makekau
Name on Ballot: Keali‘i Makekau
District: OHA trustee at large
Current Job: Accredited resident manager
Place of birth: Honolulu
Job history past 10 years -
Lani Home Inc. – Hawaiiana
Rick Grey and Associates
Holomua Site Services Inc
Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome? -
Yes. In the last three elections “2010, 2012, 2014” for OHA trustee at large seat.
Failed but did lobby to get the election law changed to include a primary for OHA despite opposition from the incumbents in 2013.
Other civic experience or community service? -
Member of the Order of Kamehameha 1
Elks Club No. 616, 22 years
Hawaiian Education & Reinstatement Foundation, board member.
Anything else you’d like voters to know about you? -
Look, you and I know that the current OHA board of trustees is inefficient and working for special interests and not the people.
My hope is to bring new perspectives and renewed values to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs through my cultural and governmental experience. Simply put, the BS stops now!
What makes you qualified to be a trustee of OHA? -
First off, my years as manager and employment with such companies as Chaney Brooks, Certified Management, and Hawaiiana. Second serving on a nonprofit, I know what resources are needed and requirements necessary for distributing awards via grants, scholarships, financial aid. Lastly, my independent, common sense approach to problem-solving.
What are your top five priorities for OHA? -
1. Transparency of OHA business, via policy and bylaws changes
2. Accountability of ethical and legal standards — employee evaluation/review
3. Independent financial audit of all holdings and resources
4. Term limits for the trustees’ offices
5. Development of Kaka`ako makai property and securing the water rights to that area
What is your one big idea? -
After seeing firsthand over the years economic opportunities like the development Kaka`ako makai property, a medical marijuana dispensary and the failed $30 million plus [spent] on Akaka Bill/nation building efforts go nowhere and purposely remained sidelined, ensuring the long-term sustainability of Native Hawaii assets is still my idea.
Why are you running for trustee? -
Simply put, change! For years now senior incumbents have run OHA and funded the process of what a Hawaiian tribe should look like and about what they feel is the future for all the Hawaiian people. $30 million lost!
Enough already, follow the mandate fund housing, medical, educational, environmental programs.
Gov. David Ige has said residential development should not be allowed on the Kaka`ako makai lands that were turned over to OHA by the state. How do you believe those lands should be used or developed? -
The ceded land settlement was an undervalued and mishandled from the start.
Fortunately commercial zoning is already in place and with experienced management and remediation work, the potential for a small commercial city offering employment opportunities for businesses both local and mainland can be realized. A master plan is needed.