Kapolei, Oʻahu – Hawaiian Homes Commission Chair William J. Ailā, Jr. issued the following statement regarding House Bill 499.
“House Bill 499 gives the Board of Land and Natural Resources the authority to extend leases of public lands by 40 years through Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 171-13 on the disposition of public lands.
“Over a decade ago the legislature passed Act 187 as an amendment to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act allowing the Hawaiian Homes Commission to extend General Leases for an additional 20 years or an 85-year maximum if certain improvements and lease increases were met. What would be Section 228 of the HHCA has since been under review by the Department of the Interior.
“DHHL did not propose HB 499, nor was it included in the Department’s legislative package that was approved by the Hawaiian Homes Commission in late 2020. Under the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, the Hawaiian Homes Commission has the authority over how Hawaiian Home Lands are leased.
“The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has a robust Beneficiary Consultation process for all parcels that have been identified for revenue generation. This process adds to the existing Beneficiary Consultation that DHHL conducts when developing its Island Plans alongside native Hawaiian beneficiaries.
“Regardless of whether or not the Governor signs this measure into law, the Hawaiian Homes Commission and its beneficiaries will chart the path forward in generating revenue from available lands to develop future homesteads.”
For more information on the Department’s legislative initiatives, visit dhhl.hawaii.gov/government-relations.