HONOLULU -      Na'i Aupuni announced its decision Tuesday morning to terminate the ongoing Native Hawaiian election. The announcement comes after the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in early December that granted an injunction to block the counting of ballots.
     
 The independent organization said instead, it will go forward with the planned 'Aha or convention in February 2016 by allowing all 196 candidates to automatically carry over as delegates a part of the decision making process to Native Hawaiian self determination. The election originally was slated to appoint 40 delegates. 

Na'i Aupuni President Kuhio Asam said the discussion to form an organized delegation to achieve Hawaiian self-governance is long overdue. 


"Our goal has always been to create a path so that Hawaiians can gather and have a serious and much needed discussion about self-governance," Asam said. 

Asam said the four week long 'Aha is funded by monies from Hawaiian ceded lands, but the organization's budget had to be re-adjusted due to the current surplus of appointed delegates.

Na'i Aupuni reduced the original eight week 'aha down to four and moved the location to a Kailua facility on O'ahu big enough to accommodate the nearly 200 delegates expected. Adjustments were also made to the delegate compensation structure.

In February delegates will get the chance to be educated by local, national and international scholars are such hot topics like Federal Indian law, rights of indigenous peoples and decolonization. The intent is to reach a consensus on Native Hawaiian self-governance, Na'i Aupuni said. 

The organization has retained Peter Adler and Linda Colburn of the Mediation Center of the Pacific to serve as facilitators at the 'aha. 

Na'i Aupuni said it informed all candidates early Tuesday morning. Each candidate will have until Dec. 22 to decide if they want to participate. 

Native Hawaiian Keli'i Akina, president of the Grassroot Institute is one of six people that filed the case with the Supreme Court in November. In an interview with KITV Akina claimed the election was race based and a violation of the United States constitution. Akina's reaction to Tuesday's announcement--

"Shows how desperate they really are. They are actually undercutting any symbol of the democratic process. 

They created a voter roll, now they are telling their voters that their vote doesn't matter at all."