OHA says it's improving grant, land managmentUPDATED 8:07 PM HST Dec 10, 2013Video Transcript
with perpetuating the Hawaiian culture says it's "stable" but wants to do more. OHA's Chief Executive Officer Kamana'o Crabbe delivered his State of OHA address today at Central Union Church. KITV4's Andrew Pereira joins us now.. It's ALL NEW at 6. Andrew? Yunji, Paula... The Office of Hawaiian Affairs says it's doing a better job managing millions of dollars worth of grants... and is making strides toward developing its land assets. The balance between past and future is as delicate as ever for OHA. Former Senator Daniel Akaka added both praise... And PRESSURE... reminding leaders about the push for self-governance. DAN AKAKA: "IT WILL SERVE AS A MODEL FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AROUND THE WORLD." The agency has made some blockbuster moves in recent years. In August, 2012 OHA acquired the Gentry Pacific Design Center for $21.4 million. OHA hopes the purchase will generate revenue through commercial leases, while providing a new location to conduct business. KAMANA'O CRABBE: "WE LOOK FORWARD TO SERVING OUR COMMUNITY WITH NEW ENERGY AND ENTHUSIASM FROM OUR NEW HOME." In 2012, OHA also took possession of 10 parcels of land in Kakaako Makai to settle land revenue claims that date back to OHA's creation in 1978. OHA hopes the land valued at $200 million will generate revenue in the next 3 to 5 years while the agency develops a master plan. State law currently limits vertical construction in Kakaako Makai to 400-feet. KAMANA'O CRABBE: "WE MAY HAVE ONE OR TWO RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES, BUT WE HAVE TO BALANCE THAT OUT WITH OPEN SPACE FOR THE COMMUNITY... MIXED RETAIL, SOME RESTAURANTS, OFFICE SPACE." However, OHA is not without criticism. A state audit released in September criticized the agency for lax administration of $14 million in grants. OHA was also faulted for inadequate land management. On both counts, OHA says it has improved. KAMANA'O CRABBE: "I LOOKED AT THE RECOMMENDATI ONS AS A VERY GOOD GUIDE FOR US. IT'S A WAY TO BE ACCOUNTABLE AND WE WELCOME THAT." Under state law, OHA receives $15 million annually from ceded lands revenue. Whether that amount increases and the broader issue of ceded lands are resolved may depend on how OHA keeps its house in order.