BY BUCK QUAYLE
A Congressional investigation of the Hawaiian Homes Commission is being called for by twenty-four year old Diana Hanson-Republican State Representative from Oahu who plans to run for a U.S. House seat from Hawaii next year.
According to Miss Hanson, who has lived in the Kailua-Waimanlo district on Oahu for the past five years, she will fly to Washington this Friday or Saturday. She said she will ask representatives of the Dept. of the Interior and the Dept. of Defense to file suite against the State of Hawaii for breach of trust with respect to the Hawaiian Homes Commission.
In an interview on Maui last week, Miss Hanson said a fact-finding team from the Dept. of Justice would "probably take a year at least" to investigate alleged abuses of the Hawaiian Homes Commission.
Miss Hanson said that in 1920, some 200,000 acres of land were designated for the use of Hawaiians. The state, she said, was given the authority to administer distribution of the land to persons at least 50 per cent Hawaiian. She said they were to receive a 99-year lease at a cost of $1 per year for each acre of land.
However, she charged, "the plantations lease approximately 95 per cent of all Hawaiian Home Lands."
One of the main purposes of the proposed investigation, she said, would be to try "to get a picture of the finding" of the State Dept. of Hawaiian Home Lands.
Hanson said misuse of Hawaiians lands has occured over the last 50 years, and has been "brought to the forefront the last 10 years".
As one of several examples of alleged abuse, she cited a case on Molokai where, she charged, three families farmed land for three years and made it productive only to have the land taken from them and sold through an alleged rigged public auction to the Molokai Ranch.
She also charged that political friends of Gov. John A. Burns of Hawaii were receiving the lands.
She said Maui Mayor Elmer Cravalho was a co-sponsor of Act 271 when he was in the State House of Representatives "about 1965". This act, she said, enabled non-hawaiians to lease Hawaiian Home Lands under certain conditions.
She said Cravalho then obtained use of some 15,000 acres of Hawaiian Homes Lands "about 1966".
She said she felt this situation should be investigated.
Not new to controversy, Miss Hanson was in the news last month when she released survey results which showed one out of every six students in Windward Oahu high schools have been "hi-jacked" by fellow students. That is, they were surrounded by other students and forced to hand over money and other personal items.
She said the Dept. of Education complained that her sampling was "random"-and therefor did not present a comprehensive picture.
With her 25th birthday in September next year, Miss Hanson will be eligible to run for the U.S.House of Representatives seat now held by Patsy Mink. The primary election will be in October and the general election in November.
BY BUCK QUAYLE
Maui Mayor Elmer Cravalho (left) said last week he would "welcome anyone to take a look" at the Hawaiian Homes Commission's operation.
Cravalho made the statement in reply to a charge by Diana Hanson, Republican State Representative from Oahu, that the Mayor's connection with the 15,000 acres of Hawaiian homestead land might be questionable.
Miss Hanson raised the question last week on Maui when she announced she plans to fly to Washington D.C. this week to request a congressional investigation of the Hawaiian Homes Commission.
Miss Hanson said Cravalho co-sponsored Act 271 when he was in the State House of Representatives in 1965. This act, she said, enabled non-Hawaiians to lease Hawaiian Home Lands under certain conditions.
The following year, she said, Cravalho obtained use of some 15,000 acres of these Hawaiian Homes Commission lands.
Responding to the charge, Cravalho said "the record shows that the lands under the Hawdaiian Homes jurisdiction were put up for public auction by the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources."
Act 271, he said, shifted the responsibility of the management to the Hawaiian Homes Commission.
According to Cravalho, the 15,000 acres of land in question-situated on the other side of Ulupalakua Ranch near the lava flows-had been leased to the ranch for approxamately 42 years at $1,400 per year.
The bidding, he said, took place at a public auction on Maui. There were two bidders, Ulupalakua Ranch and Maui Factors. Carvalho is a stockholder of Maui Factors.
Cravalho said Maui Factors obtained use of the land for $24,000 a year. As a result, he said, Maui Factors is paying the State a rental income much greater than what it had been receiving.
Cravalho said there was a year's transition period, with Maui Factors obtaining the lease in 1967. Since that time, he said, we have not been remiss on the rentals".
From 1967 to 1971, the Mayor said, "the State has received $96,000 in rentals compared to $5,600 our predecessors paid" during the same length of time.
The land currently is being used for cattle grazing.
Buck Quayle at the Maui Lahaina Sun bureau circa 1970
Reporter/Photographer Buck Quayle in 1971 in Maui with the Cartagenian in the background
Another Day At The Office Haleakala National Park