MACHADO, Colette

1 To properly represent Native Hawaiians from your island/community active engagement is important. Please list the Hawaiian cultural or civic organizations, associations or activities that you are (or have been) part of on your island of residence, your specific role in the organization, and how many years you have been (or were) active.
2 What can be done to mitigate the impacts of increasing costs of shipping to and between the islands, on the Native Hawaiian community?
3 UH’s mismanagement of Maunakea has garnered significant attention in recent years, and for many is yet another example of sacred sites being neglected, mismanaged, or even desecrated across the islands. What have you done to better ensure the appropriate treatment of Hawaiʻi’s sacred sites and spaces?

Photo: Colette Machado

AGE: 69
OCCUPATION: Grassroots community organizer, public servant to the Lāhui
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP: I was born in Hoʻolehua, Molokaʻi. My ʻohana has deep roots on Molokaʻì my grandfather Zachary Pali-Pahupu was one of the six original pioneer homesteaders who helped to establish the Hawaiian Homesteading Program at Kalamaʻula in 1921.
SCHOOL(S) ATTENDED: University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
CURRENT RESIDENCE: I live with my husband, Myron Akutagawa, in Pūkoʻo, Manaʻe, East Molokaʻi. Myron is a descendant of taro farmers from Wailau Valley.

    • Ka ʻOhana O Kalaupapa (Board Member)
    • Hoʻolehua Hawaiian Civic Club of Molokaʻi
    • Molokaʻi Land Trust (Founding President)
    • Molokaʻi Island Burial Council (Chairperson)
    • Mālama Manaʻe (Co-founder)
    • Ka Leo O Manaʻe (Co-founder)
    • Kākoʻo Kawela (Co-founder)
    • Mālama Molokaʻi (Co-founder)
    • Hawaiian Homes Commission
    • Hui Alaloa Inc.
    • State Land Use Commission
  1. Like many who live on Molokaʻi, I know too well the rising cost of shipping and the trickle down effect it has on families. I am against the practice of passing the bulk of the burden to our local families.
    One piece of the solution is local: by supporting sustainable practices that allow neighbor islands to achieve food sovereignty. OHA has already done this during the COVID-19 pandemic by funding $830,000 in food security grants to farmers and nonprofits. I will work to ensure that efforts like these are expanded. I also support OHA’s loan programs which can help to start and expand operations of local, Native Hawaiian-owned small businesses.
    At the federal level, OHA must advocate against continued cuts to the U.S. Postal Service. The Postal Service is a critical lifeline for neighbor island communities. There are kūpuna who even rely on the Postal Service for critical medication and home essentials.
  2. The State of Hawaiʻi and the University of Hawaiʻi have neglected their kuleana to mālama Maunakea. I have strongly supported OHA’s advocacy and eventual legal intervention to stop this mismanagement and desecration. As the current Chair of OHA’s Board of Trustees, I passed a resolution to provide financial support to the protectors on Maunakea. More than that, I have stood with our kiaʻi on the Mauna, sang with them, cried with them, and felt the mana of our kūpuna. I also held an OHA Board visit to meet with kiaʻi and elevate their voices.
    But this is not a new cause for me. I was an original member of the Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana movement to stop the military’s bombing of Kanaloa Kahoʻolawe. I protected the koʻa and heiau at Kaiaka Rock and Kawakiunui on West Molokaʻi from development by Molokaʻi Ranch. I helped protect the sites at Nāʻiwa, Molokaʻi by organizing to stop the expansion of the Highlands Golf Course at Kalaʻe. As president of the Molokaʻi Land Trust, I helped to repatriate 1,800 acres on the northwest coast of Molokaʻi, providing protection for fishing koʻa, adze quarries, house sites and access trails. I supported the acquisition of the Wao Kele O Puna Rainforest for permanent protection from geothermal development. I also supported the acquisition of the Kūkaniloko Birthing Stones for permanent protection. And I supported the transfer of the 20 acre Palauea Cultural Preserve.
    I know this fight because I have fought this fight. And I am committed to keep fighting the fight.

View more of this candidate’s manaʻo from the Ka Wai Ola News 2020 Primary Election Survey