Putting Abercrombie & Aiona in the hot seat, Part 5: Population cap

By Kim Gennaula

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's no secret Hawaii's dense population - especially on Oahu - is taxing our infrastructure, taking away farm land, park space & beach access, as it drives up the cost of real estate.  But does it concern our candidates for governor?

I asked Lt. Governor James "Duke" Aiona,  "Do you think the time will ever come when you would consider putting a limit on the population of Hawaii?"

Aiona answered, "I don't think that's the right thing to do - to say we're going to have a quota - we're not going to have any more migration here or any more growth in regards to - America is about being able to move wherever you want to move, live where you want to live.

The essence of Hawaii is this spirit of Aloha, that we've always talked about and we have to make sure we can all live in harmony with one another  and part of that is understanding that it's not only harmony with the people but it's with our environment. And I think that's where we're special."

Neil Abercrombie says the price of paradise is the bigger problem.

He elaborates, "The cost of living right now is so high in Hawaii that there is not only a limitation by default, if you will, but there's a limitation on ourselves and the question becomes can people in Hawaii keep on affording to live in Hawaii?  I would like to have the dilemma, or meet the challenge of having people staying in Hawaii, prospering in Hawaii and then building the workforce housing for them. It's a matter of getting away from real estate speculation per se and getting into building and housing for our own people.  Which, to me, brings prosperity."

Coming up next in Part 6: Education reform.  Some say the battle to improve our public schools is one of the most important issues in this election.  Will furlough Fridays return for our students?  Hear what both candidates for governor have to say about that next.

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