LIHUE >> The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands today started the process to reform its controversial program of leasing land on a month-to-month basis.
By a 7-0 vote on Kauai, the commission that oversees the department approved converting the nearly 180 monthly permits to another type of short-term rental agreement while DHHL develops new rules to restructure its revocable permit system.
The agency expects to develop the proposed new rules in the next months and, if approved by the commission, distribute them to Native Hawaiian beneficiaries for their feedback. The department is expected to make the changes to the proposed rules based on that feedback and then ask the commission for final approval.
The commission took the action today following a Star-Advertiser investigative series in May that found the revocable permit program plagued by problems of mismanagement, lax oversight and selective enforcement.
After the series ran, DHHL inspected nearly all of the 178 parcels and found 20 percent to not be in compliance with the permit terms, a department spokesman said.