§204. Control by department of "available lands," return to board of land and natural resources, when; other lands, use of. (a) Upon the passage of this Act, all available lands shall immediately assume the status of Hawaiian home lands and be under the control of the department to be used and disposed of in accordance with the provisions of this Act, except that:
(1) In case any available land is under lease by the Territory of Hawaii, by virtue of section 73 of the Hawaiian Organic Act, at the time of the passage of this Act, such land shall not assume the status of Hawaiian home lands until the lease expires or the board of land and natural resources withdraws the lands from the operation of the lease. If the land is covered by a lease containing a withdrawal clause, as provided in section 73(d) of the Hawaiian Organic Act, the board of land and natural resources shall withdraw such lands from the operation of the lease whenever the department gives notice to the board that the department is of the opinion that the lands are required by it for the purposes of this Act; and such withdrawal shall be held to be for a public purpose within the meaning of that term as used in section 73(d) of the Hawaiian Organic Act.
(2) Any available land, including lands selected by the department out of a larger area, as provided by this Act, not leased as authorized by section 207(a) of this Act, may be returned to the board of land and natural resources as provided under section 212 of this Act, or may be retained for management by the department. Any Hawaiian home lands general lease issued by the department after June 30, 1985, shall contain a withdrawal clause allowing the department to withdraw the land leased at any time during the term of the lease for the purposes of this Act.
In the management of any retained available lands not required for leasing under section 207(a), the department may dispose of those lands or any improvements thereon to the public, including native Hawaiians, on the same terms, conditions, restrictions, and uses applicable to the disposition of public lands in chapter 171, Hawaii Revised Statutes; provided that the department may not sell or dispose of such lands in fee simple except as authorized under section 205 of this Act; provided further that the department is expressly authorized to negotiate, prior to negotiations with the general public, the disposition of Hawaiian home lands or any improvements thereon to a native Hawaiian, or organization or association owned or controlled by native Hawaiians, for commercial, industrial, or other business purposes, in accordance with the procedures set forth in chapter 171, Hawaii Revised Statutes; provided further that in addition to dispositions made pursuant to chapter 171, Hawaii Revised Statutes, the department may lease by direct negotiation and at fair market rents, and for a term not to exceed five years, any improvements on Hawaiian home lands, or portions thereof, that are owned or controlled by the department.
(3) The department, with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, in order to consolidate its holdings or to better effectuate the purposes of this Act, may exchange the title to available lands for land, privately or publicly owned, of an equal value. All lands so acquired by the department shall assume the status of available lands as though the land were originally designated as available lands under section 203 of this Act, and all lands so conveyed by the department shall assume the status of the land for which it was exchanged. The limitations imposed by section 73(l) of the Hawaiian Organic Act and the land laws of Hawaii as to the area and value of land that may be conveyed by way of exchange shall not apply to exchanges made pursuant hereto. No such exchange of land publicly owned by the State shall be made without the approval of two-thirds of the members of the board of land and natural resources. For the purposes of this paragraph, lands "publicly owned" means land owned by a county or the State or the United States.
(b) Unless expressly provided elsewhere in this Act, lands or an interest therein acquired by the department pursuant to section [213(e)], 221(c), or 225(b), or any other section of this Act authorizing the department to acquire lands or an interest therein, may be managed and disposed of in the same manner and for the same purposes as Hawaiian home lands. [Am Mar. 27, 1928, c 142, §1, 45 Stat 246; Jul. 10, 1937, c 482, 50 Stat 503; Feb. 20, 1954, c 10, §1, 68 Stat 16; Jun. 18, 1954, c 319, §1, 68 Stat 262; am L 1963, c 207, §§2, 5(b); am L 1965, c 271, §1; am L 1976, c 24, §1; am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978; am L 1985, c 60, §1; am L 1990, c 14, §1; am L 2000, c 119, §1; am L 2014, c 173, §1]
In subsection (b), "section 213(e)" substituted for "section 213(b)(1)".
As to last two sentences of subsection (a)(3), compare §§171-5 and 171-50.
Attorney General Opinions
Hawaiian home lands needed for purposes of the Act are to be used and disposed of in accordance with the Act and are not subject to county zoning requirements. Att. Gen. Op. 72-21.
Threatened and endangered plants are protected on Hawaiian home lands under the provisions of chapter 195D, as well as under the provisions of the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, to the same extent that the plants are protected elsewhere in Hawaii. Anyone who "takes" threatened or endangered plants on Hawaiian home lands is subject to state and federal civil and criminal penalties. Att. Gen. Op. 95-5.
Allocating royalties from geothermal developments on department of Hawaiian home lands (DHHL) lands to the board of land and natural resources or the counties violated §4 of the Admission Act and article XII, §§1 and 3 of the Hawaii constitution. It is clear from the Admission Act and the Hawaii constitution that the State has an obligation to manage such resources on Hawaiian home lands for the benefit of native Hawaiians pursuant to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act (HHCA). Allocation of royalties from geothermal developments on DHHL lands to entities other than DHHL would be violations of both the Admission Act and the Hawaii constitution because those proceeds would not be available to DHHL to carry out the terms and conditions of the HHCA. Att. Gen. Op. 14-1.
Law Journals and Reviews
The Lum Court and Native Hawaiian Rights. 14 UH L. Rev. 377.
In dealing with eligible native Hawaiians, department of Hawaiian home lands must adhere to high fiduciary duties normally owed by a trustee to its beneficiaries. 64 H. 327, 640 P.2d 1161.
Commission may lease lands in accordance with §207(a) to the government because it is a member of the public. 69 H. 538, 751 P.2d 81.
Section not violated by application of chapter 343. 87 H. 91, 952 P.2d 379.