8 Jul 2008

Hawaii senator insists on Ionai palace rights

1:19 pm on 8 July 2008

An indigenous Hawaiian senator says Ionai palace is a public space and native Hawaiians are entitled to use the property.

The Hawaiian Kingdom Government has been protesting regularly outside the palace grounds after staging a sit in two months ago at the former home of the Hawaiian monarchy.

Hawaii's Board of Lands and Natural Resources is considering a public hearing to amend the rules regarding the use of the 126-year old palace and surrounding grounds,

Senator Kalani English says many native Hawaiian groups are determined to protect and utilise what they say is rightfully their land.

"One of the things that always strikes me is that people always try to romanticise our culture and turn us into a museum piece. And that's always very scary, because we're still here, we're still 20 percent of the population, quite a large segment of the population, and yet we still have real issues."

Senator Kalani English