THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO THE HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
MAHELE 1. Ke hō‘oia nei ka ‘aha‘ōlelo kau kānāwai o ka Moku‘āina o Hawai‘i nei ua ‘ae ‘ia ma ke Kumukānāwai o ka Moku‘āina o Hawai‘i ka mālama ‘ana mai a me ka paipai ‘ana ho‘i i ka ‘ike a me ka nohona kanaka, ka mo‘olelo, a me ka ‘ōlelo ‘ōiwi o Hawai‘i. Ma loko o ka Paukū X, mahele 4, ‘ōlelo ‘ia penei, "e paipai ka Moku‘āina i ke a‘o ‘ana i ka ‘ike a me ka nohona Kanaka, ka mo‘olelo a me ka ‘ōlelo ‘ōiwi o Hawai‘i." A ma loko o ka Paukū XII, mahele 7, ‘ōlelo ‘ia penei, "ke hō‘oia hou nei ka Moku‘āina e mālama a ho‘omalu ‘ia nā kuleana a me nā pono a pau, i hana kuluma ‘ia no ke ola pono o ka noho ‘ana, nā ‘ano o ka nohona a me ka ho‘omana i pa‘a mau i nā kānaka o ke ahupua‘a, ‘o lākou he mamo na nā Kanaka maoli i noho ma ka pae ‘āina o Hawai‘i nei ma mua o ka makahiki 1778, a koe kekahi kuleana o ka Moku‘āina e ho‘oponopono i ia mau kuleana a me nā pono." ‘Oiai ua ‘ike ‘ia he pili pono ka ‘ōlelo e ola ana i ka ho‘omau ‘ia ‘ana o ke ‘ano o ka nohona o ka po‘e kānaka, ma ka Paukū XV, mahele 4 ke ho‘āmana ‘ia nei ‘elua mau ‘ōlelo kūhelu o ka moku‘āina o Hawai‘i, ‘oia ho‘i ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i a me ka ‘ōlelo Pelekania.
Ma hope mai o ka makahiki 1978, ua hō‘oia hou ‘ia e ka Moku‘āina ‘o ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i kekahi o nā ‘ōlelo kūhelu, a ua kāko‘o ka ‘aha‘ōlelo i nā hana e ho‘okomo i ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i ma nā palapala ‘oihana o ka moku‘āina, nā kuni, a me nā hō‘ailona. Ua mālama ka Moku‘āina i ke koi ‘ia a me ka pela pololei ‘ia i ia mau kākau ‘ana no ka lehulehu. I kēia mau lā ‘o ka ho‘ohana pono ‘ana i ke kahakō a me ka ‘okina he mea ia e hō‘ike i ka mālama maika‘i ‘ia o ka ‘ōlelo ‘ōiwi o kēia mau mokupuni, a he mea nō ho‘i ia e ho‘okō pono ai i ka mana‘o a me ke kumu o ke kumukānāwai o ka moku‘āina.
‘O ke kumu o kēia Kānāwai ‘oia ho‘i ka mālama ‘ana ma lalo o ka mana o ke kumukānāwai ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i, a me ka ‘ike a me ka nohona Kanaka ma o ke koi ‘ana e ho‘ohana ‘ia nā inoa Hawai‘i a me ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i ‘ano pololei loa a kūpono ma nā palapala, nā po‘oinoaleka, nā hō‘ailona, a me nā kuni, i ka wā e hana mua ‘ia, ka hana hou ‘ia, a i ‘ole ke pa‘i hou ‘ana.
(English translation of MAHELE 1)
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the Constitution of the State of Hawai‘i provides for the preservation and promotion of native Hawaiian culture, history, and language. Article X, section 4, of the Hawaii State Constitution provides that "[t]he State shall promote the study of Hawaiian culture, history and language." Article XII, section 7, of the Hawaii State Constitution provides that "[t]he State reaffirms and shall protect all rights, customarily and traditionally exercised for subsistence, cultural and religious purposes and possessed by ahupua‘a tenants who are descendants of native Hawaiians who inhabited the Hawaiian Islands prior to 1778, subject to the right of the State to regulate such rights." Because maintaining a living language is an integral component of preserving a culture, article XV, section 4, of the Hawaii State Constitution establishes that English and Hawaiian are the official languages of Hawai‘i.
Since 1978, the State has reaffirmed Hawaiian as one of its official languages, and the legislature has supported efforts to incorporate the Hawaiian language into official state writings, emblems, and signs. The State has ensured that these public inscriptions are mandatory, accurate, and spelled correctly. The use of 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 purpose of the state constitution.
Section 1-13, Hawaii Revised Statutes, provides that English and Hawaiian are the official languages of Hawai‘i. Despite the statutory recognition of the Hawaiian language as an official language of this State, the governor vetoed House Bill No. 1984, S.D. 1, C.D. 1, Regular Session of 2012, relating to Hawaiian language, which would have strengthened the recognition and furthered the usage of Hawaiian in official documents. The veto message indicates concerns about possible misspellings and misinterpretation of Hawaiian words and their effect on official documents.
The governor also indicated separately that the state departments and agencies would administratively implement the usage of Hawaiian words in official documents without the necessity of a statutory mandate. However, the legislature is concerned that this administrative initiative has not occurred.
The intent of this part is not to require that bills and other official documents be written in Hawaiian as well as English; rather, if documents and letterheads prepared by or for state or county agencies or officials contain Hawaiian names and words, this Act requires that the Hawaiian names and words be written in accurate, appropriate, and authentic Hawaiian.
The purpose of this part is to ensure the constitutionally and ethically mandated preservation of the Hawaiian language and culture by requiring all newly created, replaced, or reprinted state and county documents, letterheads, symbols, and emblems to contain accurate, appropriate, and authentic Hawaiian names and language only if Hawaiian words are included.
SECTION 2. Section 1-13, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§1-13 Official languages.
English and Hawaiian are the official languages of Hawaii. Whenever there is found to exist any radical
and irreconcilable difference between the English and Hawaiian version of any
of the laws of the State, the English version shall be held binding. Hawaiian shall not be required for public
acts and transactions[
.]; provided that if Hawaiian words or names are
included in such documents, then section 1-13.5 shall apply."
SECTION 3. 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] (a) Effective January 1, 2020, all documents and
letterheads prepared by or for state or county agencies or officials[ .],
to the extent that the documents and letterheads contain Hawaiian language
words or names, shall include accurate, appropriate, and authentic Hawaiian
names and words, including proper Hawaiian spelling and punctuation, including
but not limited to macrons and glottal stops that punctuate the English word to
which they relate; provided that any revision to conform any document or
letterhead existing on or before January 1, 2020, to the requirements of this
section, may be implemented when the document or letterhead requires
replacement or reprinting, or otherwise requires revision. Any rule,
order, policy, or other act, official or otherwise, that prohibits or
discourages the use of [ these symbols] accurate, appropriate, and
authentic Hawaiian names and words, as required by this section, shall be
(b) Hawaiian names and words shall be deemed accurate, appropriate, and authentic when printed in conformance with:
(1) "A Dictionary of the Hawaiian Language", by Lorrin Andrews, revised by Henry H. Parker, prepared under the direction of the Board Of Commissioners Of Public Archives Of The Territory Of Hawaii, 1922;
(2) "Hawaiian Dictionary: Hawaiian-English, English-Hawaiian", by Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel H. Elbert, University of Hawai‘i Press, copyright 1986;
(3) "Māmaka Kaiao: A Modern Hawaiian Vocabulary", developed by the Kōmike Hua‘ōlelo, the Hawaiian Lexicon Committee;
(4) "Place Names of Hawaii", by Mary Kawena Pukui, Samuel H. Elbert, and Esther T. Mookini, University of Hawai‘i Press, copyright 1974;
(5) Ulukau: The Hawaiian Electronic Library, located at internet address http://ulukau.org; or
(6) Other sources.
(c) Any Hawaiian names and words that are misspelled or incorrectly punctuated within a document or letterhead subject to this section shall not be deemed to invalidate the document or render it unenforceable. No cause of action shall arise against the State, any county, or any state or county agency, official, or employee for any Hawaiian names and words that are misspelled or incorrectly punctuated."
SECTION 4. Section 5-6.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
§5-6.5[ ]] State language. (a) The Hawaiian language is
the native language of [ Hawaii] Hawai‘i and [ may], effective January
1, 2020, shall be used on all emblems and symbols representative of the
State, its departments, agencies, and political subdivisions[ .];
provided that for emblems and symbols existing on January 1, 2020, conformance
with this section may be delayed until a replacement for the emblem or symbol
otherwise is required.
(b) The Hawaiian language as used on all emblems and symbols shall conform to the requirements of section 1-13.5(b).
(c) This section shall not be construed to require that the full text of bills and other official documents be written in Hawaiian."
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.
Hawaiian Language; Public Documents; Letterhead; Symbols
Requires any Hawaiian words or names included in public acts and transactions to be accurate, appropriate, and authentic. Requires all newly created, replaced, or reprinted letterheads, documents, symbols, and emblems of the State and other political subdivisions that include Hawaiian words or names to include accurate, appropriate, and authentic Hawaiian words, names, spelling, and punctuation. Establishes references for accurate, appropriate, and authentic Hawaiian names and words, including proper Hawaiian spelling and punctuation. Clarifies that the full text of bills and other official documents are not required to be written in Hawaiian and that misspelled or incorrectly punctuated Hawaiian words and names shall not invalidate the documents or render them unenforceable and no cause of action shall arise accordingly. (SD2)
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