10H-3 Native Hawaiian roll commission. (a) There is established a five-member Native Hawaiian roll commission within the office of Hawaiian affairs for administrative purposes only. The Native Hawaiian roll commission shall be responsible for:

(1) Preparing and maintaining a roll of qualified Native Hawaiians;

(2) Certifying that the individuals on the roll of qualified Native Hawaiians meet the definition of qualified Native Hawaiians. For purposes of establishing the roll, a "qualified Native Hawaiian" means an individual whom the commission determines has satisfied the following criteria and who makes a written statement certifying that the individual:

(A) Is:

(i) An individual who is a descendant of the aboriginal peoples who, prior to 1778, occupied and exercised sovereignty in the Hawaiian islands, the area that now constitutes the State of Hawaii;

(ii) An individual who is one of the indigenous, native people of Hawaii and who was eligible in 1921 for the programs authorized by the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, or a direct lineal descendant of that individual; or

(iii) An individual who meets the ancestry requirements of Kamehameha Schools or of any Hawaiian registry program of the office of Hawaiian affairs;

(B) Has maintained a significant cultural, social, or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community and wishes to participate in the organization of the Native Hawaiian governing entity; and

(C) Is eighteen years of age or older;

(3) Receiving and maintaining documents that verify ancestry; cultural, social, or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community; and age from individuals seeking to be included in the roll of qualified Native Hawaiians. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, these verification documents shall be confidential; and

(4) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, including in the roll of qualified Native Hawaiians all individuals already registered with the State as verified Hawaiians or Native Hawaiians through the office of Hawaiian affairs as demonstrated by the production of relevant office of Hawaiian affairs records, and extending to those individuals all rights and recognitions conferred upon other members of the roll.

(b) No later than one hundred eighty days after [July 6, 2011], the governor shall appoint the members of the Native Hawaiian roll commission from nominations submitted by qualified Native Hawaiians and qualified Native Hawaiian membership organizations. For the purposes of this subsection, a qualified Native Hawaiian membership organization includes an organization that, on [July 6, 2011], has been in existence for at least ten years, and whose purpose has been and is the betterment of the conditions of the Native Hawaiian people.

In selecting the five members from nominations submitted by qualified Native Hawaiians and qualified Native Hawaiian membership organizations, the governor shall appoint the members as follows:

(1) One member shall reside in the county of Hawaii;

(2) One member shall reside in the city and county of Honolulu;

(3) One member shall reside in the county of Kauai;

(4) One member shall reside in the county of Maui; and

(5) One member shall serve at-large.

(c) A vacancy on the commission shall not affect the powers of the commission and shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.

(d) Members of the commission shall serve without compensation but shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the commission.

(e) The commission, without regard to chapter 76, may appoint and terminate an executive director and other additional personnel as are necessary to enable the commission to perform the duties of the commission.

(f) The commission may fix the compensation of the executive director and other commission personnel.

(g) The commission may procure temporary and intermittent services. [L 2011, c 195, pt of 2; am L 2012, c 84, 1; am L 2013, c 77, 1]


Law Journals and Reviews


The Crown Lands Trust: Who Were, Who Are, the Beneficiaries? 38 UH L. Rev. 213 (2016).

A New Narrative: Native Hawaiian Law. 39 UH L. Rev. 233 (2016).


Case Notes


District court did not err by denying the motion to intervene by prospective intervenors who qualified as Native Hawaiians under a definition narrower than the definition in the 2011 legislation and who sought to challenge the more liberal definition, the creation of a Native Hawaiian government based on that definition, and the related expenditure of state trust funds intended to benefit Native Hawaiians. The prospective intervenors' interests would not be impaired or impeded as a result of the plaintiffs' litigation; their claims would raise entirely different issues from those raised by the plaintiffs and they could adequately protect their interests in separate litigation. 835 F.3d 1003 (2016).

Plaintiffs' interlocutory appeal dismissed as moot, where plaintiffs sought a preliminary injunction solely to prevent defendants from undertaking certain voter registration activities and from calling or holding racially-exclusive elections for Native Hawaiians. Given the changed circumstances, the court could not provide any effective relief sought in the preliminary injunction request; also, the appeal did not fall within an exception to the mootness doctrine. 835 F.3d 1003 (2016).

In 42 U.S.C. 1983 action brought by native Hawaiians and Hawaii residents of non-Hawaiian ancestry challenging statutory restrictions on registering for a "roll" of qualified native Hawaiians as violative of their First Amendment and equal protection rights, the public interest would not be served by a preliminary injunction to halt nonprofit corporation's private election of native Hawaiian delegates to a convention of native Hawaiians to discuss, and possibly organize, native Hawaiian governing entity. Plaintiffs were not likely to be deprived of any constitutional rights, and granting injunction would potentially affect approximately 100,000 people on nonprofit corporation's voter list who may want to participate in the process of self-determination. 141 F. Supp. 3d 1106 (2015).



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