Pacific American-News Journal
`Okakopa - October 1996 Volume 2 Issue 10
Native Hawaiian Politics Is Alive and
Well in Hawai`i
by W.B. Laronal, Jr.
Politics doesnt come easy for this writer but what I see
happening in Hawai`i is invigorating. The Native Hawaiian
community had the chance to re-elect or elect new trustees to the
Office Of Hawaiian Affairs - OHA this November 5th. A major
effort is being made to unseat many of the incumbents.
Hui Kali `Aina is a political party started by King David
Kalakaua says David Kauahi Hui Kalai `Aina member. Hui Kalai
`Aina has four candidates running for OHA trustee.
Na Lei Lokahi while not a political party has fielded four
candidates also for OHA trustee.
Hui Kalai `Aina has four of its candidates in the next to
final day of an island wide walk. The walk started at the Iolani
Palace. Today, while driving in Nanakuli, I caught up with Walter
Ritte and his wife Loretta as they were walking on the mauka side
of Farrington Highway just down from Hawaiian Homestead Princes
Kahanu estates. It was mid morning the temperature was in the
I made a left turn across Farrington Highway and parked. I
walked up to Walter and Loretta. Walter gave the hand held sign
saying, "Walter Ritte for OHA Trustee" to Loretta. An
occasional car would blow their horn or the occupants would give
the "shaka" sign.
I asked Walter, "why he was running again for trustee of
OHA?" Walter replied, "Im wanting to continue
working for the betterment of Hawaiians, now and in the
future." After a few minutes Walter and Loretta were back
walking, heading Diamond Head way towards Honolulu. Walter is a
man of few words.
Further down the highway in the opposite direction towards
Makaha, Na Lei Lokahi was preparing pa`ina for a candidates
forum. Arriving just after noon people were gathered at the home
of the Gomess under a big common mango tree a band was
playing Hawaiian music. A few open sided tents with tables and
chairs were set up to one side of the yard.
I had an opportunity to speak briefly with Colette Machado one
of the four candidates endorsed by Na Lei Lokahi. Colette simply
stated that she wants to share her experience, strength and hope
for the future of the Hawaiian community; to contribute to
realizing the mission of OHA through integrity and perseverance;
and to put the needs of OHA beneficiaries before political
agendas. Both Ritte and Machado are running for the Trustee seat
What this writer learned from the candidates running for OHA
office was their commitment to making OHA pono.
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Last modified: February 28, 1998
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