23 Jan 2008

Hawaiian land revenue deal needs approval by state legislature

4:23 pm on 23 January 2008

A landmark agreement, worth US$200-million has been signed in Hawaii over ceded land revenues that have been in dispute for more than a decade.

The agreement is intended to end the long-running dispute, which involves the revenue from land that originally belonged to the Kingdom of Hawaii and was ceded to the United States.

Jonathan Scheuer from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs says like any negotiated settlement, no one has got everything they want, but it is a fair and just settlement.

"There's nine elected trustees of the office of Hawaiian Affairs, who certainly don't always see eye to eye on every issue, but had to come together, say that this was worth negotiating with the state. It took an administrator, our governor, as well as an attorney general for the state, who also firmly believed that this was not just the legally required thing for the state to do, but also just the right thing to do."

Jonathan Scheuer says the deal has to be approved by the state legislature, which has until the middle of the year.