Ka Wai Ola
Photo: Kaleihikina Akaka
OHA’s newest Trustee for Oʻahu, Kaleihikina Akaka. – Photo: Sean Marrs

What strengths do you bring to the OHA’s Board?

A fresh perspective, balanced with the wisdom of those before us. I feel it is very important to have that pono balance, so that there can be a healthy flow of ideas—and we can make things work for the future, while respecting the values and traditions of our past and today.

What is the first thing you hope to accomplish? What is the biggest issue – or biggest area of need – affecting the Native Hawaiian community?

To answer both of these together: I hope to look at a strategic plan that focuses on quality of life initiatives: housing, health and wellness, education and jobs. Those are our biggest, our core issues. I want to strengthen our relationship with the Legislature, and through that strong bond they will be able to better understand why we need the funding from Public Land Trust revenues to do the tasks at hand. I also want to strengthen our relationship on the city and county, and federal level, along with public and private partnerships, to maximize the potential for doing even more good.

One of my other goals is to put even more aloha into OHA, so that the all the people of Hawaiʻi can see and feel all the good things OHA is doing.

What do you do for fun?

I enjoy quality time with my family and friends, and taking time to celebrate and enjoy the life that we have together.

How do you connect with the ‘āina?

When I’m on the water, sailing, in nature, or, even better, in Waipiʻo Valley with my ʻohana, it’s like going back in time. I feel like I’m in my natural state. Being there grounds me.