Ainoa Naniole
Ainoa Naniole

Candidate Profile

Candidate’s Name: Ainoa Alexander Naniole
Phone: (808)225-6892|
Political office sought: House of Representatives
Representative District: 3
Are you an incumbent?: No
Campaign contact: Ainoa Naniole, (808)225-6892,

1. Why are you running for office? 

1. I’m passionate about public service at the Legislature and have the requisite skill set and experience to serve my district effectively. This is the community I grew up in and that provided me with the tools and resources necessary for me to take part in invaluable experiences and educational opportunities. Serving in the legislature is a way for me to give back and ensure that the unique character of our district is well represented at the State Capitol. I believe I can effectively reflect the values of the district’s residents at the legislature.

2. What are your views about Hawaiian self-governance?  In your capacity as a legislator, what action, if any, would you advocate in support of Hawaiian self-governance? 

2. I strongly support Hawaiian self-governance. The rights and benefits of all native Hawaiians need protections in the form of federal recognition and Hawaii’s congressional delegation must continue to vigorously advocate for its passage in Congress. I firmly believe that Congressional action is the most effective way to overcome legal challenges to these entitlements in the United States Supreme Court. It is incumbent on state legislators to regularly communicate with our federal delegation on how best the state can exert influence to help garner support for federal recognition for native Hawaiians on Capitol Hill.

Additionally, legislators must ensure that the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), an entity created by Congress, functions effectively to meet its statutory purpose. The legislature must take the necessary steps to ensure maximum efficiency of DHHL with regard to expending valuable funding in a timely manner. During the past legislative session, it was revealed that DHHL hadn’t spent down both federal and state funding in amounts exceeding $50 million. These funds were sitting idle for years. As a state legislator, I would demand better accountability from DHHL’s leadership and staff. The DHHL provides a foundation from which Hawaiians are able to raise families and continue cherished cultural traditions and customs. Our homesteads throughout the state take great pride in their communities. I believe our homesteads already serve as a strong foundation for Hawaiian self-governance when that day comes. Therefore, we must continue to support programmatic improvments and economic development initiatives at DHHL to provide increased resources to expand and strengthen its reach to our Hawaiian communities.

3. When it comes to Native Hawaiian issues, what do you perceive your role as a legislator to be?  What ways can you, if elected, support Native Hawaiian concerns through your legislative abilities?  If elected, describe specific Native Hawaiian bill ideas that you would be willing to propose or support for the advancement of Native Hawaiians?

3. My role as a legislator is to strongly advocate for issues that protect and strengthen our cultural identity as Hawaiians. An abbreviated list of my priorities is:

  • Funding our Hawaiian immersion and Hawaiian focused charter schools; arguing for equal funding for their students commensurate with regular DOE school students;
  • Ensuring that our olelo Hawaii students are able to take standardized tests that are administered in olelo Hawaii, as these students should not be penalized for learning in one of the state’s official languages- Hawaiian.
  • Demanding greater accountability at DHHL and seeking out policy changes that address those concerns.
  • Protect and improve laws that preserve the constitutionally protected rights of Hawaiians to practice the customs and traditions of our people. This also includes preventing the enactment of laws that stymie those rights.