I will also be reaching out to the State Foundation for Culture and the Arts to attempt to rebuild and improve that relationship. I stand firm in my position that individuals who serve in state leadership positions should be thoroughly educated and informed on the history and native culture of Hawai‘i. I am hopeful that this unfortunate incident can serve as a platform for improving dialogue and cross-cultural relationships between state departments."
House speaker Joe Souki said, "I absolutely do not condone this type of offensive language and behavior by anyone. I have spoken to Representative Hanohano and emphasized that this is not in keeping with the spirit of the House of Representatives. She will be sending a letter of apology to the State Foundation on Culture and Arts Exhibit team specialists. As Speaker of the House I have also extended my sincerest apology to the members of the Exhibit team."
State Foundation on Culture and the Arts Executive Director Eva Laird Smith says the artwork depicts nature scenes in Hawaii and was previously approved by Hanohano's office manager.
Catherine Cruz will have more on this story tonight on KITV4 News at 5, 6 and 10.