As 2019 comes to a close, we would like to mahalo all those who have assisted OHA in moving forward to accomplish its goals and fulfill its strategic plan. A new strategic plan is upon us. We are excited about what a new day and a new plan can bring to OHA and our people.
We want to mahalo Dr. Kamanaʻopono Crabbe and our administration for the work done under his tenure. We have selected a new CEO, Dr. Sylvia Hussey. We are looking forward to all the things to be done through our administration under her tenure.
For Hawaiʻi mokupuni, we have challenges that we cannot ignore. Maunakea is one issue. We also have unexploded ordinance issues in certain areas of our mokupuni that hinders development of lots for our beneficiaries on Hawaiian Home Lands. We have water issues from Waimea to Kawaihae and all the way down the coast to Kaʻū. We continue to work towards alternative energy goals on our island. Laʻi ʻŌpua 2020 in Kona is moving along and there is hope that different funding mechanisms can be found to continue the work until it is completely realized in its entirety. Makuʻu Farmers are moving forward undeterred in their quest to build their community center. Waimea Nui is still moving. As roadblocks pop up in these projects and many others on Moku o Keawe, we must persist until we “loaʻa ka lei o ka lanakila,” until we grasp the lei of victory. We have come a long way, but we have “…miles to go before [we] sleep,” wrote Robert Frost.
Our people are a thankful people. We are appreciative of all the richness life can bring us. Many times, the richness is not valued by “kālā,” but rather by “aloha.” Aloha for one another and for others in our community and beyond. Naysayers may say that our people have not shown aloha as of late due to raised tension regarding different land issues throughout our pae ʻāina. We say our people are expressing aloha for our ʻāina. By sharing kuleana to mālama our ʻāina, all who call Hawaiʻi home can participate in ensuring that we have enough resources for all of us into the future.
As proof of this, you can ask recent attendees of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs Convention. In Kaʻanapali, Maui, in November, resolutions were debated in committee and on the convention floor. Convention delegates debated issues passionately. They were able to vote civilly and then move forward. This is a great example that shows our people can passionately debate, passionately disagree, passionately vote…and then pāʻina to bring everyone back to center and holo mua with aloha.
During this Holiday Season, may we all share one with another what we are thankful for and share hope with our neighbors in our community for the future. May we “mālama kekahi i kekahi a aloha kekahi i kekahi.” “ʻO ke aloha ka ʻī ʻoi aʻe…,” love is the highest of all values. “Aloha” is the present we have to share throughout the world. At a time when our lāhui is rising, “Aloha and Mele Kalikimaka!”