Respect for the host culture is often cited by lawmakers as an important consideration.
But this year the desire to advocate for Native Hawaiians is coming up against fiscal realities and the need to encourage development.
At the halfway mark of the 2011 session of the Hawaii Legislature, bills introduced by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs have found no quarter.
Of the 14 non-budget bills in the OHA package, only three survived the crossover. Other Native Hawaiian-focused measures had similar difficulty.
Dozens of bills related to cultural resources were introduced in January. Civil Beat has identified key proposals, some of which are still part of the conversation and some of which have been relegated to the history books:
Preparing and maintaining a roll of qualified Native Hawaiians to be recognized by the state of Hawaii — Senate Bill 1
Establishing an aha kiole advisory commission to serve in an advisory capacity to the governor and the Legislature on all matters regarding land and natural resources — Senate Bill 23 (House Bill 1154 stalled)
Requiring further review of proposed exchanges, sales or gifts of state land, including whether it was classed as government or crown lands — House Bill 397
Establishing a task force to lessen the instances of the people of Hawaii, especially Native Hawaiians, becoming entangled in the criminal justice system — Senate Bill 986 (House Bill 401 stalled)
Authorizing counties to streamline construction permit, license and application processing by deeming projects approved if the State Historic Preservation Division fails to comment within 60 days — House Bill 376