comscore 2020 Election: Noelani Cashman-Aiu | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

2020 Election: Noelani Cashman-Aiu

  • Noelani Cashman-Aiu
Name on ballot:

Noelani Cashman-Aiu

Running for:

OHA Hawaii Resident Trustee

Political party:


Campaign website:

Current occupation:




Previous job history:

Hotel & Healthcare Executive, College Professor

Previous elected office, if any:


Please describe your qualifications to represent the people of Hawaii.

I currently reside in Waimea on Hawaii Island on Pu’ukapu Hawaiian Homestead. I am a proud graduate of Kamehameha Schools, Kapalama and a University of Redlands graduate with a Bachelor’s in Education. I am currently pursuing my Master’s in Business and Organizational Management.

After a successful twenty-year career at the Sheraton Waikiki and the Royal Hawaiian Hotels, where I held positions in Operations, Sales, Human Resources, Training & Development, my world came to a life-altering halt. In 2001, my husband, Charles Kahoali’i Aiu, III, lost his battle with cancer and I found myself a single mother to my six-year-old daughter. Faced with the reality that overnight I lost husband, I decided to further my hospitality career in pursuit of an executive leadership position, with the goal of providing my daughter with the future she deserved.

I have been the Hotel Manager at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa, The Mauna Kea and Hapuna Beach Resorts, and the Fairmont Orchid responsible for managing the daily operations and overseeing the multi-million-dollar budgets.

When my daughter, graduated with honors from Kamehameha Schools, Keaau, we ventured to New York where she attended New York University. Together we navigated the transition from the Big Island to the Big Apple.

In New York, I was a college professor and healthcare executive.

Given my decades of experience in the local business community and the business community abroad, I am uniquely positioned to help take the Native Hawaiian Trust to the billion-dollar level.

What will be your top priority if elected?

With my extensive business background, I will help ensure that the Native Hawaiian Trust is restructured to combine OHA’s land and financial assets into a single endowment. This will help better position OHA to fulfill its fiduciary responsibility to Native Hawaiians.

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 pressing issues facing the Native Hawaiian community today are affordable housing, economic self-sufficiency, and homelessness. These issues are further complicated by the global COVID-19 pandemic. With unemployment soaring and everyone’s livelihood in turmoil, we need to ensure OHA fulfills its purpose by providing resources towards improving conditions for Native Hawaiians. As a trustee, I will focus on increasing funds in the trust to improve our ‘aina, perpetuate our culture, ensure economic self-sufficiency, education, governance and the health of our Native Hawaiians.

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

OHA received a settlement of 200 million and today it is worth just under 400 million. Unfortunately, the Department of Hawaiian homelands are helping only a small percentage of Native Hawaiians. The fact that 8 years later, The Native Hawaiian Trust has not even doubled its value is unacceptable. We need trustees who understand business. We need to combine the land assets and financial assets into one endowment, so we can grow the Native Hawaiian Trust to help more Native Hawaiians. The Native Hawaiian Trust should be in a position that OHA can help any Native Hawaiian with a home down payment. With my extensive business background and first-hand experience building a home on Hawaiian Homelands, I am confident, that together we will be successful in increasing our trust to ensure our Hawaiian community will get the help they need and deserve.

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?

OHA addresses the mismanagement of Maunakea in the pending lawsuit against the State of Hawaiʻi and the University of Hawaiʻi. I do support OHA’s lawsuit alleging ongoing breaches of their fiduciary obligations to properly steward Maunakea by the State and the University of Hawai’i. Given the Hawai’i Supreme Courts recent ruling of the state’s failure to live up to its fiduciary responsibilities to Native Hawaiians regarding the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, I am encouraged that the courts will similarly recognize the State and its entities failure in this case as well. I fully support OHA and the Mauna Kea Ad Hoc committee’s work to push for OHA to have a greater say in not just the management of Mauna Kea, but who manages and protects Mauna Kea.

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

The criminal justice system is just one small part of a bigger systemic problem – poverty in the Native Hawaiian community. The rate of poverty in the State is over 9%, however the rate of poverty of among Native Hawaiians is 13%. As with other discerning factors, the Native Hawaiians are outpacing the rest of the state. OHA needs to do more. After generations of being displaced from our land, culture, and sense of self-worth Native Hawaiians struggle with drugs, homelessness, and domestic violence. Having affordable housing, better education and a sustainable economic model is a start. The Queen Liliuokalani Trust new direction is to eradicate poverty. As your next Hawaii Island OHA trustee, I am committed to work together with our Queen’s trust to make our money go further and see how we can further their efforts. By addressing the systemic issue of poverty, we can now help Native Hawaiians stay out of the criminal justice system. I am also committed to the partnership with the Council of Native Hawaiian Advancement in expanding their trade academy, so we can get Native Hawaiians meaningful and gainful employment.

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

Given my decades of experience in the local business community and the business community abroad, I am uniquely positioned to help take the Native Hawaiian Trust to the billion-dollar level.

With my extensive leadership experience in the local business community and abroad, I am the only candidate qualified to take the Native Hawaiian Trust to the billion-dollar level. The fact that OHA resources have not grown to those levels shows the lack of experience and leadership needed to manage the trust.

With my business and financial acumen and as a Pu’ukapu Hawaiian Homestead lessee, I understand our beneficiaries perspective as it relates to OHA’s strategic plan. It is time for NEW BLOOD, NEW ENERGY, TO GET NEW RESULTS.

Don’t forget, everyone can vote for OHA

Vote Cashman-Aiu for Hawaiian Island OHA Trustee

Mahalo for your support!

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