21 Aug 2009

Hawaii's Statehood Commission believes its plans for 50th anniversary has support

9:13 am on 21 August 2009

Hawaii's Statehood Commission believes most people in the state support the way it plans to mark the 50th anniversary of statehood tomorrow.

The commission has held a series of events and festivals in the past year, and has sought to educate the public about statehood with advertising, artworks and exhibits.

Its chairman, Kippen de Alba Chu, says it will also hold a conference tomorrow, looking both at future issues for the state, and the "more difficult" history of Native Hawaiians.

That's been criticised by some who say the conference focusses more on the future rather than examining the history of the US occupation of Hawaii.

But Kippen de Alba Chu says he's confident the commission has taken the right approach.

"We have been criticised as a commission from both extremes, independence activists, as well as those who view the US occupation of Hawaii as something very favourable. From both extremes we've been criticised so I guess in that sense when you look at it, we've taken the middle road and we feel comfortable with that."

Kippen de Alba Chu says the conference will be followed by a concert, and a fireworks display being staged by a local hotel.