Abercrombie Appoints Waihee, Danner to Decide which Native Hawaiians are "Qualified"
Governor Appoints Native Hawaiian Roll Commission
Honolulu – Governor Neil Abercrombie today announced his appointments for the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission (NHRC). Established in July when Governor Abercrombie signed Act 195, the NHRC starts the process that will eventually lead to federal recognition of Native Hawaiians.
Waihee at Governor's Press Conference
Announcing Hawaiian Rolls Commission
The Commission is composed of five members, one from each county and one at-large seat. They are: former Governor John D. Waihe'e (At-Large), Lei Kihoi (Hawai'i), Mahealani Perez-Wendt (Maui), Na'alehu Anthony (O'ahu), and Robin Puanani Danner (Kaua'i).
“These individuals represent various sectors of the Hawaiian community. Each brings experience, talent, knowledge, and skills that collectively create a broad-based team,” Governor Abercrombie said. “This team will put together the roll of qualified and interested Native Hawaiians who want to help determine the course of Hawai'i’s indigenous people.”
The Commission will be responsible for preparing and maintaining a roll of qualified Native Hawaiians as defined by the Act. Once its work is completed, the Governor will dissolve the Commission. The roll is to be used as the basis for participation in the organization of a Native Hawaiian governing entity.
“Now is the time to unify as a people,” said At-Large Commissioner Waihe'e. “The belief in our nation building process is being realized. It has been a long time coming but today we have a renewed sense of confidence for our people and our future.”
About the Native Hawaiian Roll Commissioners:
John D. Waihe'e III is the appointed At-Large commissioner. After serving as Lt. Governor under Governor George Ariyoshi, Waihe'e became the first Native Hawaiian Governor and served two terms from 1986 to 1994. His administration created the A-plus after-school-care program, restored more than 16,000 acres of public lands to the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust, and created a committee to help define sovereignty. In 1993, he created the Hawaiian Sovereignty Advisory Commission. Waihe'e, 65, became active in politics after serving as a delegate on the 1978 Hawai'i State Constitutional Convention where he was instrumental in the creation of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. He earned his undergraduate degree at Andrews University in Michigan and was a member of the first graduating class of the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai'i. Waihe'e lives in Honolulu...
(Complete Story/Other Appointees Bios)