Na’i Aupuni : Voyage to Nationhood

Oct 6, 2015

A Waikiki beach scene captures some of the contradictions of contemporary Hawai‘i.
Credit Noe Tanigawa


Bill Meheula, attorney for Na'i Aupuni.
Credit Noe Tanigawa

   A year ago, the federal Department of the Interior, DOI, travelled throughout Hawai‘i soliciting comments on a path to Hawaiian nationhood.  Last week the DOI proposed a rule to facilitate governmental relations if Hawaiians form a unified government on their own.  Today, as part of HPR’s news series, Following Up,  Noe Tanigawa reports on how that path to nationhood is progressing.

According to their website,  Na‘i Aupuni is an independent organization made up of a volunteer board of directors from the Hawaiian community. It exists solely to help establish a path for Hawaiian self-determination.  Find out more about Na’i Aupuni

See who is running to be a delegate to the ‘Aha planned for March-April 2016.  There are 209 candidates for 40 delegate positions:  20 from O‘ahu,  7 from Hawai‘i Island, Maui has 3, Kaua‘i/Niihau 2, Lāna‘i/Molokai 1, and 7 from outside the state.   

Bill Meheula, attorney for Na’I Aupuni, says they currently plan to send out ballots November first which will be due back by November 30th.  Delegates will be announced December first or second.  The ‘aha is planned for March-April 2016; eight weeks, Monday through Friday.  The first week will be a series of education sessions with experts on constitution making, federal recognition, and Hawaiian governance under international law.  Experts will also present on ceded land claims, constitutional issues, kingdom law, the kingdom constitution, and the many constitutions created since the overthrow will also be considered.  Nai Aupuni hopes to livestream these education sessions, though coverage, if any, of the convention will be up to the delegates.   

The U.S. Department of the Interior is proposing to create an administrative procedure and criteria that the Secretary of the Interior would apply if the Native Hawaiian community forms a unified government that then seeks a formal government-to-government relationship with the United States. Find out more.