Report Title:

Hawaiian Language; Public Documents


Requires that all new and replaced letterheads and documents of the State and other political subdivisions include both state languages, with the Hawaiian language placed first; established a Hawaiian language interim working group to develop implementation plan and identify Hawaiian language authority as official reference. (SD1)


S.B. NO.



S.D. 1






relating to hawaiian language.



SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the state constitution provides for the preservation and promotion of native Hawaiian culture, history, and language. For example, Article X, section 4, Hawaii State Constitution, states, "The State shall promote the study of Hawaiian culture, history and language." Article XIII, section 7, Hawaii State Constitution, provides, "The State reaffirms and shall protect all rights, customarily and traditionally exercised for subsistence, cultural and religious purposes" of native Hawaiians. Because maintaining a living language is an integral component of preserving a culture, it is also important to note that Article XV, section 4, Hawaii State Constitution, reestablishes that "English and Hawaiian shall be the official languages of Hawaii."

Since 1978, when the State reaffirmed Hawaiian as one of its official languages, the legislature has backed efforts to incorporate the language into official state writings, emblems, and signs. Assuring that these public inscriptions are mandatory, accurate, spelled correctly, and use the proper Hawaiian macrons and glottal stops not only shows the deserved respect for the native language of these islands, but also fully comports with the intent and words of the state constitution.

The purpose of this Act is to ensure the constitutionally and ethically mandated preservation of the native Hawaiian language and culture by requiring that all state and county documents and letterheads, when newly created or reprinted, contain the accurate, appropriate, and authentic Hawaiian names and language printed above the English translations.

SECTION 2. Section 1-13.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]1-13.5[]] Hawaiian language; spelling. [Macrons and glottal stops may be used in the spelling of words or terms in the Hawaiian language in] Effective January 1, 2004, all documents and letterheads prepared by or for state or county agencies or officials[.] shall include the accurate, appropriate, and authentic Hawaiian names and language, including proper Hawaiian punctuation, spelling, macrons, and glottal stops, printed above the English translation; provided that this requirement shall not apply to a document or letterhead existing on the effective date of this Act until a replacement for the document or letterhead is required. Any rule, order, policy, or other act, official or otherwise, that prohibits or discourages the use of these symbols shall be void."

SECTION 3. Section 5-6.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]5-6.5[]] State language. The Hawaiian language is the native language of Hawaii and [may], effective January 1, 2004, shall be used on all letterheads, documents, emblems, and symbols representative of the State, its departments, agencies and political subdivisions[.]; provided that this requirement shall not apply to a document or letterhead existing on the effective date of this Act until a replacement for the document or letterhead is required."

SECTION 4. Hawaiian language interim task force. (a) There is established the Hawaiian language interim task force (task force), to be administratively attached to the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum as the State of Hawaii Museum of Natural and Cultural History, for the purposes of developing an implementation plan to achieve the purposes of this Act. The task force shall be composed of nine members to be appointed as follows: one representative from the University of Hawaii at Manoa Hawaiian language department; one representative from the University of Hawaii at Hilo college of Hawaiian language, one representative from Hale Kuamo'o; one representative from Aha Hui Olelo Hawaii; one representative from the department of accounting and general services; one representative from the Hawaii state association of counties; one representative from the Bishop Museum; and two ma'a manaleo, native Hawaiian language speakers, who shall be chosen by the representative from the Bishop Museum. The representative from the Bishop Museum shall serve as chair of the task force and shall make appointments to the task force from lists provided by the organizations identified in this subsection; provided that, to the extent practicable, the members shall represent the diversity of Hawaiian language as it is spoken throughout the State.

(b) The appointments shall be made and the task force shall be convened no later than July 1, 2003. The task force shall develop an implementation plan and identify an official Hawaiian language authority that shall be considered the official reference to be used by state and county agencies in the implementation of this Act. In selecting an official reference, the task force shall consider the "Hawaiian Dictionary: Hawaiian-English, English-Hawaiian," by Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel H. Elbert, copyright 1986, University of Hawaii Press and "Mamaka Kaiao" developed by Komike Hua'olelo, the Hawaiian Lexicon Committee.

(c) The task force shall submit to the legislature, the governor, and the mayors of the respective counties, a report including the implementation plan adopted pursuant to this Act, no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the 2004 legislative session. The report shall include the identification of resources necessary for the implementation of this Act, including information technology software and the costs of such software.

SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.