comscore 2020 Election: Luana Alapa | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

2020 Election: Luana Alapa

  • Luana Alapa
Name on ballot:

Luana Alapa

Running for:

OHA Molokai Resident Trustee

Political party:


Campaign website:

Current occupation:

Insurance agent



Previous job history:

Independent Nutraceuticals sales rep

Previous elected office, if any:


Please describe your qualifications to represent the people of Hawaii.

Over the past twenty years of successful endeavors in a multitude of related activities I have solicited and successfully procured sponsorships, negotiated with company owners and managers for venues for our events, functioned as Budget director and served as public relations and the executive of the marketing department and partnered with charitable organizations by aligning with social awareness platforms. I am approachable, friendly, determined, confident, people oriented, and very passionate about helping others. I have served as spokesperson in promoting our beautiful aloha state and I have engaged in many activities within my community for the advancement of supporting people who are less fortunate. These qualifications will help me to be the best representative for the people of Hawaii.

What will be your top priority if elected?

One of my top priorities if elected is to work tirelessly to grow the trust and to expand the scope with which it serves its Native Hawaiian beneficiaries. This will be accomplished by instituting a vigorous and thorough management of several important areas of responsibility one in particular: OHA’s land management.
We need to resolve the policy issues surrounding the land settlement, which was reached in 2013, and the development plans for Kaka‘ako. This is an urban area that is currently sitting undeveloped, therefore we must help people understand that it is in the interest of the beneficiaries to optimize development. OHA should shift focus to revenue generation. Though OHA is not in the development business, Kaka‘ako Makai should be turned into a masterpiece of live/work/play development. OHA should seek to coordinate such development with Kamehameha Schools, Howard Hughes Corp, the state and other entities to create an integrated master planned community for everyone to enjoy. This will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in condo sales and lease rent for OHA, creating a wealth of funds for expanded programs that our community will benefit from for years to come. Many jobs created from this development will benefit not just the Hawaiian community but all of Hawai‘i as well.

What is the most pressing need for the people you seek to represent and what can the Office of Hawaiian Affairs do to address that need?

The lack of affordable housing is a critical issue for many Hawaiians. Many of these folks are beneficiaries of OHA and some are Hawaiians who are on the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands waiting list. OHA does have significant funding and should aggressively work to support housing initiatives for Hawaiians. One of the ways in which OHA can improve this dire situation is to partner with and collaborate with government agencies, nonprofits, and other organizations, as well as DHHL. These state agencies should execute a memorandum of understanding directed at moving affordable housing forward immediately. As OHA Trustee I would work with DHHL, local labor and the private sector to create an economical plan so that homesteaders currently waiting can obtain affordable housing that can be constructed perhaps through self-help, prefab/pre cut homes or in conjunction with local labor. Partnering with local banks and Fannie mae to help assist with loan programs for homesteaders would help facilitate the expedition of home ownership Hawaiians have longed for in their own ancestral land.

What is one specific change you would like to see in OHA’s operations and what would you do to make it happen?

First a complete, independent fiscal forensic audit of all holdings and resources. It is vitally important to address unresolved issues concerning the latest scathing Audit where millions of dollars are unaccounted for. Over $500k was spent on a special Audit with no tangible results. Millions more spent on failed attempts on independent nation, nation to nation, federal recognition, that have garnered zero results for Hawaiians when those monies could have gone directly to building affordable housing for beneficiaries and other needy programs for native Hawaiians. Perhaps an internal auditor position inside OHA should be created, one that has a special authority, which will report all findings to the Board of Trustees and the State Auditor via public access. OHA should also put into place stringent policies to track and monitor disbursement of all trust dollars within the OHA Operations. I am committed to the advancement of the Hawaiian community by overseeing this important matter and to restore trust, faith and leadership that has been lacking for many years.

Do you support or oppose the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the Big Island and what should OHA’s role be in the process?

I support science and technology as well as astronomy it’s what has brought us into the 21st century. However, I cannot condone TMT’s circumvention of the legal process thereby losing the confidence of native Hawaiian stakeholders. OHA’s role in the management of Mauna Kea should be recognized by the state as a co-manager of the mauna. OHA should truly have oversight of the Hawaiian religious and cultural areas and sites. If I am fortunate to be an elected trustee, my support is with the majority of the native Hawaiian community’s view & position. My ultimate purpose of running for OHA is to see to the overall betterment of conditions for our Hawaiian community through Affordable Housing, jobs, education, health care, dental care, and financial education so they may live a quality of life they are deserving of especially in their own Ancestral Land”.

What is OHA’s role in easing the overrepresentation of Native Hawaiians in prisons?

OHA should be involved in advocating for rehabilitation programs within the legal systems. OHA can work with Hawaiian groups already doing education in prisons and can help expand cultural, educational and religious Hawaiian-related programming throughout the prison systems. OHA should also create a program to assist prisoners who need employment and job training before they are discharged from the prison system so they may live a healthy productive life once they are released. As a trustee I would support OHA providing programs of this nature for Native Hawaiians currently in the prison system as well as those who are integrated into society.

Is there anything more that you would like voters to know about you?

As OHA Trustee, I would have an open door policy so that I could listen to beneficiaries and be responsive to their concerns, their thoughts and ideas. I’d work tirelessly to grow the trust with the goal of raising and sustaining the highest quality of life for our Hawaiian people. A guiding principle that my father Stanley Alapa taught me is: Selfless service to others. Self less service to others is one important way in which our Hawaiian values can enhance and improve the conditions of Native Hawaiians. With this goal in mind, it would be an honor for me to serve as your OHA Moloka‘i Trustee.

View more candidate questionnaires or see more 2020 Hawaii elections coverage.
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