Forum will discuss Act 55's potential impact on public lands

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Derek Kauanoe, 808-956-0836
Student & Community Outreach Coordinator, Law
Posted: Oct 5, 2011

The William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa will host a free public forum on Thursday, October 6, from 12 noon-1 p.m. at the Moot Courtroom at the Law School (2515 Dole Street).  The forum will discuss how the new Public Land Development Corporation - Act 55 of the 2011 State Legislature – could impact the future of the state’s “ceded” lands.

Two attorneys, working in Native Hawaiian and environmental law, will focus the discussion around what the new law will mean for Hawai‘i lands held in public trust.

The forum is sponsored by Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law through its “Maoli Thursday” program of public events.

Speakers include:

       - Jocelyn Doane, a 2007 graduate of Richardson Law School, who currently serves as a policy advocate for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Before that she was a founding member of Kupu‘aina, a coalition formed to protect the state’s “ceded” lands from being sold before the resolution of Native Hawaiian land claims.

       - Marti Townsend who is program director and staff attorney for KAHEA, the Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance. She is a 2005 graduate of Richardson Law School and has clerked at the Honolulu Earthjustice office, as well as serving as a staff member for the State House Finance Committee.

Thursday’s discussion will center around the law passed this year creating a new entity to develop state lands and potentially generate revenue for the State Department of Land and Natural Resources. The bill was first introduced by Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz and received little attention during the session.

The newly-formed corporation will be governed by a five-member board of directors. Three state agencies will be represented on the board, including the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the Department of Budget and Finance, and the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism

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