Hawaiian Homes Commission approves permit revisions

LIHUE — The Hawaiian Homes Commission unanimously voted Monday to amend its long-standing revocable permit program.

The action represents the start of many adjustments to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’ program, according to a release.

Like all state agencies, DHHL has four instruments for land disposition — general leases (long term), license (used for government, utility and infrastructure), RPs (limited term) and Right-Of-Entries (limited term, limited use).

In May, DHHL placed a 60- to 90-day moratorium on the issuance of new RPs. Those that were in process are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

During this period, DHHL also inspected the vast majority of its RP holdings. Eighty percent of permittees were found to be in compliance and those not in compliance were due to non-payment of rent, failure to abide by the terms of their agreement, improper use of RP and non use.

In June, DHHL reviewed initial suggestions for improvement with Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s Assessment Committee. DHHL will also meet with other organizations and land holders to achieve a broader perspective on stewardship, cultural sensitivities, land values, enforcement, etc.

As DHHL finalizes and incorporates these changes into the new RP program, it will be taking the new program out for beneficiary consultations.

At the end of June, DHHL allowed all 178 RPs to expire to begin the transition from the old program to the new one.

The Commission’s action approves the issuance of ROEs for up to 12 months to RP holders in compliance. These ROEs will mirror the activities and permitted uses allowed under their existing RPs.

Those not in compliance will be given limited right of entries for 30 days from the receipt of their certified notice to bring their properties into compliance for future inclusion.

There may be a few that will be terminated immediately.

“As we move forward, we will continue to keep our beneficiaries and the public informed of our progress,” Hawaiian Homes Commission Chair and DHHL Director Jobie Masagatani said.

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