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Community groups oppose Water Commission nominee

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Members of the Native Hawaiian community, legal experts and environmentalists gathered at Iolani Palace Monday to protest a Commission on Water Resources Management appointment.

The community members say they do not oppose Ted Yamamura on a personal level, but question how a Maui land appraiser has enough water resources management experience to serve on the state’s oversight commission.

Speakers from Earthjustice, the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, the Sierra Club and the League of Women Voters criticized the selection process and questioned why the nominating committee bypassed candidates with water management expertise.

Dane Wicker, a Senate Water Land and Housing Committee staff member, explains the committee determined nomination process was acceptable. He notes more than 100 people submitted testimony, the majority supporting Yamamura.

The full Senate must confirm the appointment.

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