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OHA trustees extend timetable for nation-building effort

By Star Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:43 p.m. HST, Jul 24, 2014

Trustees for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Thursday announced a six-month extension to the timetable for the nation-building process to which they previously committed.

The extension is expected to allow OHA more time to educate the public about a process aimed at empowering Native Hawaiians to participate in building a governing entity, officials said.

Under the new timetable approved by OHA's Board of Trustees, voters who are registered on the Official Roll of Native Hawaiians will elect delegates in January 2015 to represent them at a governance convention in April.

The new timeline also calls for Hawaiians on the official roll to vote by July 2015 in a referendum to approve or disapprove the draft governing document, which would determine the next steps in the process.

But in extending the timeline, OHA's Board of Trustees also is holding onto its original position that being registered on the Official Roll of Native Hawaiians is the only way to qualify to participate in this particular nation-building process.

"We believe that this new timetable helps to position us to build a strong sovereign governing entity that will be embraced by all of our people," OHA Chairperson Colette Machado said in a statement. "It is now time to work together to be sure that the contemporary Native Hawaiian governing entity is rooted in our ancestral wisdom."

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