§206. Other officers not to control Hawaiian home lands; exception. The powers and duties of the governor and the board of land and natural resources, in respect to lands of the State, shall not extend to lands having the status of Hawaiian home lands, except as specifically provided in this title. [Am L 1963, c 207, §5(a), (b); ree L 1997, c 197, §4]
The Act of July 10, 1937, c 484, 50 Stat 508, provides in part: "That the legislature of the Territory of Hawaii may create a public corporate authority to engage in slum clearance, or housing undertakings, or both, within such Territory.... The legislature.... may, without regard to any federal acts restricting the disposition of public lands of the Territory, authorize the commissioner of public lands, the Hawaiian homes commissioner, and any other officers of the Territory having power to manage and dispose of its public lands, to grant, convey, or lease to such authority parts of the public domain, and may provide that any of the public domain or other property acquired by such authority may be mortgaged by it as security for its bonds...."
Attorney General Opinions
Governor's power to set aside public lands by executive order does not extend to Hawaiian home lands. Att. Gen. Op. 75-3.
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.
This section controls over the provisions of chapter 182 as applied to Hawaiian home lands, and the department of Hawaiian home lands has the authority to manage and dispose of geothermal resources on its lands. Further, neither the equal footing doctrine nor the public trust doctrine overrides that authority. Att. Gen. Op. 14-1.
Law Journals and Reviews
Native Hawaiians, Self-Determination, and the Inadequacy of the State Land Trusts. 14 UH L. Rev. 519.
Absent demonstrable intent to restrict government's authority to enforce state and county criminal laws on Hawaiian home lands, section does not preclude enforcement of such laws. 80 H. 168, 907 P.2d 754.