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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                   August 31, 2005 Release No. M-61






            Mayor Mufi Hannemann today (Wednesday, August 31, 2005) announced the City has filed a “friend of the court” (amicus) brief with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the Kamehameha Schools admissions case.


“I didn’t have to do this, but I wanted to demonstrate my deep belief that the court ignored the expressed will of Princess Pauahi and more than that, overlooked the reality of today’s Hawaii.”


The brief was filed Monday (August 29) by the Office of the Corporation Counsel. The mayor announced the filing in a speech before the 4th annual Native Hawaiian Conference in Waikiki this morning. In the address he also touted the benefits of Bill 53, which he signed into law earlier this year and repeals the City’s mandatory leasehold condo conversion ordinance.


“I realized long ago that involuntary sale of lease-fee interest in condominiums jeopardized the ability of trusts such as the Kamehameha Schools and Liliuokalani Trust to provide for their beneficiaries, especially the children,  in the years ahead,” Hannemann  told the conference.


The appeals court brief notes that the City and County of Honolulu, “as a reflection of the intent of its citizens, is significantly concerned with, and shares a commitment in, preserving and honoring Native Hawaiian culture, customs, language and history.”


The brief cites several City ordinances that embody that commitment:  Oahu Historic Preservation Commission, Koolau Loa Sustainable Communities Plan, Building Code provisions incorporating, preservation of Hawaiian customs at Hanauma Bay and the requirement for Hawaiian street names.


The brief asks the court to grant the Kamehameha Schools motion for a hearing before the full appeals court and says, “The court’s final ruling should involve a consideration of the intent of the City and County’s citizens to preserve and honor the indigenous culture, customs, language and history of Native Hawaiians, expressed through the foregoing ordinances.. . .”




Bill Brennan, 527-6928

Mark Matsunaga, 527-5767

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

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