Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: GOV. MSG. NO. 728




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2018

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Water and Land, to which was referred Governor's Message No. 728, submitting for study and consideration the nomination of:


Land Use Commission


G.M. No. 728


for a term to expire 06-30-2022 (term to expire amended to 11-21-2021 by GM757),


begs leave to report as follows:


Your Committee reviewed the personal history, resume, and statement submitted by Aaron Mahi for service on the Land Use Commission.


Your Committee received testimony in support of the nomination for the reappointment of Aaron Mahi from the Land Use Commission, Hawaiian Civic Club of Honolulu, Koolau Foundation, Koolaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club, and three individuals.


Upon review of the testimony, your Committee finds that Mr. Mahi's background in Hawaiian culture, commitment to public service, and proven leadership qualify him to be nominated for reappointment to the Land Use Commission as a member with substantial experience or expertise in traditional Hawaiian land usage and knowledge of cultural land practices. Your Committee notes that Mr. Mahi currently serves as the Cultural Specialist for the Mālama Āina Foundation where he provides information and guidance to staff regarding Hawaiian cultural values and practices in the development of the Foundation's materials and activities. He also currently serves as an Assistant Cultural Specialist for the Partners in Development Foundation where he assists the Head Cultural Specialist in assignments that apply folk practices and the value system of the Hawaiian culture. Most notably, Mr. Mahi previously served as the Bandmaster for the Royal Hawaiian Band of the City and County of Honolulu where he coordinated and conducted an average of three hundred performances and appearances worldwide and managed a $2,500,000 budget and a staff of sixty. He also has extensive community involvement, including serving as the President of the Koolau Foundation, Second Vice President of the Koolaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club, and Senior Pastor for the Makiki Community of Christ Church.


Your Committee further notes that Mr. Mahi indicated in his personal statement that if appointed for a second term, he hopes to continue to include cultural awareness in the decision making process of the Land Use Commission. He further indicated his passion to protect the State's agricultural and preservation lands by ensuring that these lands are provided the highest priority of preservation. Testimony received in support of the nominee indicates that he is a Hawaiian cultural resource who has proven himself during his tenure on the Land Use Commission as a concerned advocate for the protection of cultural resources who possesses an understanding of the State's housing shortage and its economic impact on less fortunate members of the community. His broad knowledge of the Hawaiian culture will continue to fill a valuable niche on the Land Use Commission.


Lastly, your Committee notes that Governor's Message No. 757 amends the nomination for reappointment of Mr. Mahi by changing the term to expire on November 21, 2021, rather than on June 30, 2022, to meet any restrictions under the law.


As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Water and Land that is attached to this report, your Committee, after full consideration of the background, experience, and qualifications of the nominee, has found the nominee to be qualified for the position to which nominated and recommends that the Senate advise and consent to the nomination.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Water and Land,