comscore OHA ousts Akana as chairwoman after months of turmoil | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

OHA ousts Akana as chairwoman after months of turmoil


    Rowena Akana, new chair of the board of trustees, Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

After two months of turmoil, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees today ousted Rowena Akana as chairwoman and elevated Vice Chairwoman Lei Ahu Isa to the top spot on an interim basis.

Ahu Isa joined the board minority of Robert Lindsey, Dan Ahuna, Peter Apo and Colette Machado in voting against Akana, who had narrowly took over the leadership role in December. John Waihee IV, Carmen Hulu Lindsey and Keli‘i Akina abstained, while Akana received only one vote: her own.

A new leader will be selected at the next board meeting, according to the organization’s bylaws. Ahu Isa said after the meeting that she is not interested in the permanent job.

Ahu Isa said she voted to oust Akana to bring stability to the board. She also said she objected to a complaint filed by Akana in First Circuit Court Wednesday on behalf of OHA questioning the validity of the employment contract of CEO Kamana‘opono Crabbe.

Earlier in the day, a 9 a.m. board meeting scheduled to discuss a proposed forensic, or comprehensive, audit of OHA was deferred for lack of a quorum.

At the meeting, Ahuna announced that five of the trustees were boycotting Akana as chairwoman.

“She has caused nothing but turmoil in this organization since being elected as chair,” Ahuna said. “And just within the last 48 hours she has gone on a spree personally attacking other trustees, and she unilaterally filed a lawsuit yesterday on behalf of OHA that will likely end up being found frivolous.”

The matter of the audit was rescheduled for an airing before the board’s Resource Management Committee Wednesday.

Comments (31)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

    • Akana loved the power and drama but in incompetence set OHA back. I just wish that OHA could set its mind to helping real Hawaiians who could use extra help. Stop wasting money and quit the boring drama. The entire state, and especially Hawaiians, are sick of OHA.

      • Allie, Akaka is who called for the forensic audit. It is a tool used to develop evidence to take before a grand jury relative to indictments of wrongdoers. She didn’t cause any chaos. The chaos was the reaction to a reformer trying to get evidence together to hold wrongdoers accountable.

      • Akana was the one stating that too much of OHA’s budget was being wasted on bloated salaries for OHA’s top staff and all their cronies. Sounds like the drama is over her telling the truth and shining a light on the reality of OHA.

    • Couldn’t the same be said for about 10,000 individual
      h a o l e
      organizations too? (Had to space out the letters; first try went to the great black hole of ‘sent for moderation.’)

  • And we want to have our own separate government with this type of leadership. No wonder the Hawaiians are suffering. Money being spent on friends, travel and dinners.

  • “Grabs in a Bucket”! This Lady was a controlling “Micro Managing Freak” in OHA! And Braaaaah! How many Plastic Surgeries did this lady get on OHA’s Dime! Let me borrow Allie’s phrase “Scary”! Haaaaaaaaaaaa!
    CEO Kamana’opono Crabbe has his own issues awarding contracts to his family members. Conflict of Interest you say ?Like “Blago”? He’s Blowing away a Golden Moment! SAD I liked him.

    History will prove time and time again ,leave it up to the Hawaiians and it will all blow away in the wind! Don’t get me wrong I am also an Indigenous Hawaiian. I just want see OHA run as Honest governing body representing ALL Hawaiians. C’mon OHA ! IMUA!

  • I think it’s about time to do away with OHA and DHHL. Neither has been successful in their mission to serve the Hawaiian community. Frankly, both are a waste of taxpayer money which has for decades been used mainly to enrich themselves and democratic party insiders with jobs and contracts. It’s truly shameful how dysfunctional both entities have become. Unless the federal government takes back control or provides oversight, these groups will never accomplish their stated goals and purpose for existence.

  • I have yet to ever seen OHA make a fiscally responsible decision in its 39 years of life. Mostly every dollar has been squandered, frivolously spent. Nothing has been for the long term to keep a sustainable revenue stream going. Everything was spent like water with little regard for it. I have zero confidence in OHA ever truly helping the Hawaiian people. So many Hawaiian blood people suffer from all kinds of issues: excessive unemployment, poor school performance, troubled youth, high percentage with criminal records, rampant drug use.

    Yet here we have OHA just splurging the OHA bucks. These are the folks who going run the Hawaiian kingdom again? I don’t see any grace, humility, or leadership from any individual running OHA. I wish a wise leader would emerge and unite the people. However, it does not appear that this will ever happen. This is really sad.

  • It’s a sad commentary that a lot of the OHA Trustees have learned the ways of the missionaries and how “to take” for “their” own personal benefit. AUWE!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up