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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 1:06 a.m., Wednesday, November 6, 2002

Mossman, Carpenter to join OHA board

By Andrew Gomes
Advertiser Staff Writer

One new face and a former OHA administrator were elected as trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, while three incumbents retained their seats as voters chose five of nine board members.

Boyd Mossman, a former state Circuit Court judge, won the Maui trustee seat. Dante Carpenter, a former OHA administrator, Big Island mayor and state senator, won in his bid for O‘ahu trustee.

Incumbent trustees Oswald “Oz” Stender, Rowena Akana and John Waihe‘e IV retained three at-large board seats, finishing in the top three positions respectively. Another 18 candidates failed to attain a seat on the board.

Last night’s election was the second time that voting for OHA trustees was open to non-Hawaiians, after the Hawai‘i Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that OHA voting limited to Hawaiians was unconstitutional.

The five winners will join four trustees whose terms do not end this year: Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona, vice chairwoman and Big Island trustee Linda Dela Cruz, Kaua‘i-Ni‘ihau trustee Donald Cataluna and Moloka‘i-Lana‘i trustee Colette Machado.

Clayton Hee resigned his trusteeship to run for lieutenant governor. Trustee Charles Ota did not run for re-election.

With two new trustees, the mood and balance of power at OHA still could change significantly, according to observers.

Last night before voting results were released, Stender said any combination of candidates would improve collaboration and credibility of the agency.

“There’s been a lot of discord between trustees, a lot of bad feelings. Whoever wins, it will have a great benefit to OHA,” he said.

The new board will appoint a new chairperson and reallocate committee leadership roles. Major initiatives at OHA will continue — obtaining revenue from ceded lands, nationhood and defending legal challenges to Native Hawaiian claims.

Mossman, who runs a dispute-resolution firm, has said his priority is to defend Hawaiian entitlements while seeking federal recognition or its equivalent.

Carpenter, a legislative engineering and planning consultant, said his priority will be to seek legislation that provides ceded land money due OHA.

Reach Andrew Gomes at agomes@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8065.