OHA CEO answers to audit - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

OHA CEO answers to audit

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

In Hawaiian and English, Office of Hawaiian Affairs CEO Kamana'opono Crabbe told hundreds of Native Hawaiians at the annual State of OHA gathering the agency is making positive strides.

"All the work that we do is towards our vision and our mission," he said.

But recently that work came under scrutiny. A state audit said OHA needs to improve management of land it oversees to benefit Native Hawaiians. Crabbe said OHA is now changing from a being a passive land owner to an active land steward.

"With our commercial properties we have internationally recognized commercial managers Colliers and CBRE that help us with our Gentry property and with our Kakaako Makai," he said.

The audit also said OHA needs to keep an eye on grants it awards to ensure recipients meet requirements. The agency added staff.

"We have tightened up on monitoring a number of the significant grants, large grants, that are out in our community," Crabbe said.

OHA recently completed a market feasibility study for the 30 acres of property in Kakaako it got from the state. Plans are for a mix of retail and residential with open space. Crabbe said whatever OHA does will have to fit in with other developments in Kakaako.

"We have to make sure that we're working with those partners to create not just a Hawaiian sense of place but an environment that's conducive to the land and to the businesses there," he said.

The next step for OHA is coming up with a master plan for its Kakaako properties. Native Hawaiians and others are anxiously waiting for that.

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