The state Senate voted Wednesday to keep William Aila as deputy director of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

Sens. Kai Kahele, J. Kalani English, Michelle Kidani, Lorraine Inouye and Kurt Fevella voted against Aila’s nomination.

“What DHHL needs is new leadership,” Kahele said on the Senate floor. “It needs to move in a different direction.”

Jobie Masagatani, the former DHHL director, saw her renomination pulled after it appeared it would not be approved by the full Senate. Aila will likely lead the department while Gov. David Ige decides on a replacement director.

Senators were concerned over Masagatani’s slow progress on building homes to shorten the long list of Native Hawaiians awaiting housing. Aila also faced criticism from some senators at an hours-long hearing April 2.

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