Aligning OHA Resources


Dan Ahuna, Vice Chair, Trustee, Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihauAloha mai kākou,

Last month I talked about setting a clear intention for how we use our resources where I stated,

“The ‘responsible’ in fiscal responsibility is having clarity of the intention behind how and why we use our financial resources for producing and supporting others in producing value in our communities.”

Ultimately, this means that our intention should be based on viewing our own value in helping other individuals and organizations in our communities to achieve their own levels of excellence in their value production. Therefore, I am dedicated to aligning the resources and tools we have at OHA with the wants, needs, and interests of our Native Hawaiian community in all aspects of our resource management activities. OHA’s mission is to improve the livelihoods of Native Hawaiians, and although this statement is broad in scope, we can maintain a path forward by always vetting our alignment to our communities by adequately answering eight basic questions. These questions are:

1) Do our financial policies and regulations allow us to use our resources to produce maximum value in our communities?

2) Is our spending and investment strategy in alignment with our mission?

3) Do the investments in our trust fund align with our mission?

4) Do we have a strategic plan forward that allows us to generate maximum value to our beneficiaries and stakeholders?

5) Does our accounting and reporting system allow us to understand our financial resources adequately so that resources and activities are in alignment and are maximized?

6) Do the financial products we offer meet the diverse capital needs of our beneficiaries and strategic partners?

7) Do we have a measurement system that tracks our value production and improvement as an organization?

8) At any time when we look at what we are doing, is there value to our beneficiaries and stakeholders that is being left on the table? And what can we do to see that value is fully expressed?

In our quest for excellence we have done a lot to ensure that the beneficiary-owned resources managed by OHA are used to their fullest value. However, like anything there is always room for improvement. Internally, the trustees and our staff are working every day ensuring that organizationally we are maximizing the use of our resources for all of you. In turn, we ask that you help us ensure we are staying in alignment with what is needed on your end. Clearly articulating answers to the above eight questions will keep all of us on the same waʻa moving in one clear direction. After all, the alignment we are seeking is between OHA and all of you, our beneficiaries.