LIHUE — For Daniel Ahuna, the most rewarding part of his job with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is face time with Kauai residents.
“I very much appreciate this opportunity to represent our community and look forward everyday to meeting people and finding ways to assist in making their ideas come to fruition,” he said.
That’s why he seeking another term as the Kauai trustee for the OHA.
“I truly enjoy getting out in the community and hearing people’s concerns, questions, and ideas,” he said. “I take all of that back with me to work and try to be a voice that represents so much of what I hear on a daily basis at home.”
Ahuna, a former teacher at Kauai High School, said his dedication to community service comes naturally.
“I was a teacher for many years, thus I have always been dedicated to public service and community based work,” Ahuna said.
He said he wanted to get involved with OHA because it served as a way for him to be an outlet for the Native Hawaiian community.
“I felt our community needed an active and strong advocate at the state level, and OHA was the perfect fit for me,” he said. “I look forward to continuing this work alongside many in our community.”
Ahuna, who has served for four years as the Kauai trustee for OHA, said he is a strong advocate for the community and an active voice for the people.
Ahuna said he’s particularly proud of his work to get the Community Based Subsistence Fishing Area rules signed.
The rules, which were signed into law in August, allowed the Department of Land and Natural Resources to designate community-based subsistence fishing areas off Haena. It’s purpose was to support sustainability and preserve native Hawaiian fishing habits.
“I was able to work closely with the Haena community in what was the culmination of nearly 20 years of advocacy work by extremely dedicated individuals to pass rules that embraced traditional and community based management of their shoreline in Haena,” Ahuna said. “It was a monumental effort taken on by a small and close knit community.”
If elected to serve another term, Ahuna plans on making clean energy production on Kauai a priority.
He also wants to work with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to create more housing opportunities on the Westside.