By a vote of 88 to 30, a Native Hawaiian constitution was adopted Friday by participants in the Nai Aupuni aha, or convention.

“The constitution, drafted over several weeks, laborious committee meetings and intense floor debate, addresses everything from a core government structure to native rights,” a press release said. “At the core of the governing document is the need to have culture and kupuna wisdom. The participants of the convention came with varied careers, attorneys, cultural practitioners, professors, retired jurists, laborers and many more.”

The aha participants numbered 151, with 130 said to have been involved with the February meetings. Nai Aupuni said their backgrounds included attorneys, cultural practitioners, professors, retired jurists, laborers “and many more.”

Participants at the Nai Aupuni aha in Maunawili.

Participants at the Nai Aupuni aha in Maunawili.

Nai Aupuni

It’s unclear what happens next, but it seems a constitution would be subject to ratification by Hawaiians.

For now, Nai Aupuni says aha plenary sessions are being broadcast on Olelo Community Media.

The conclusion to the aha came one day after another group of Hawaiians held an aha of their own on Oahu. Aha Aloha Aina 2016 objects to Nai Aupuni and has its own views on independence.

Nai Aupuni aha participants discussing governance.

Nai Aupuni aha participants discussing governance.

Nai Aupuni

Nai Aupuni has other critics, including Kelii Akina of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. He released this statement after the news of the constitution was released:

The attempt to establish a single race-based nation violates the Aloha Spirit and goes against the will of the majority of Hawaiians. 

This effort also violates the United States Constitution in that it has used public funds to establish a racially discriminatory process.

Instead of wasting millions of public dollars on a divisive political movement, state government and Hawaiian leaders should use these financial resources to advance Hawaiians through education, housing, commerce, and health care.

Below are the constitution and declaration adopted by Nai Aupuni:

About the Author