Candidate: Pua Ishibashi
‘Aha District: Moku o Keawe, Hawai’i
Address: 691 Ainako Ave, Hilo, HI 96720
Phone: (808) 989-4844
- What are your qualifications to be a delegate to the ‘aha?
Building a Nation will be a complex and difficult task and will require very special resources and skill-sets. I believe I have the necessary desire, education, experience, and expertise that qualifies me for your serious consideration regarding this special and important work.
I have three degrees including a Law Degree, over thirty-years of business management, administration, and community leadership experience. I am grounded spiritually and I have the loving support of friends and ‘ohana including a wife of 35 years, 6 children, and 10 grandchildren.
- How would you characterize the values of your campaign to be elected as a delegate to the ‘aha for example, with aloha, lōkahi, kūpono, etc.?
I embrace and try to exemplify the following values in everyday life. These values will remain with me during this campaign and will continue with me throughout the ‘aha and nation building process.
Aloha ke Akua: To recognize ke Akua (God) as the supreme being, to acknowledge His hand in all things, to seek His guidance in all things, and to be appreciative of His many blessings.
Aloha: To love others as one’s self and to do so unconditionally, living a life of charity, compassion, and forgiveness towards others.
Haʻahaʻa: To be humble, grateful, and teachable; treating others with respect and Aloha. To recognize and appreciate ke Akua’s hand in all things and to be submissive to His will at all times.
Pono: To think, speak, and act in a manner that is honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men. To be balanced physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
‘Ohana: To recognize the ‘Ohana (family) as the fundamental building block that makes up the very fabric of the community, society, and lāhui (nation). Strong families = strong communities and strong communities = a strong lāhui. As such, the ‘ohana and those individuals making up the ‘ohana unit (kamali‘i, makua, and kupuna) must be cherished, respected, and protected.
Kūʻauhau: To find, learn, and preserve one’s genealogy; to know who we are by knowing where we came from. In knowing our genealogy we can bind ourselves to our kupuna (ancestors), who in turn, can inspire, guide, and protect us.
ʻImi naʻauao: To seek enlightenment, not only the acquirement of knowledge, but of true intelligence, that is, to use knowledge in a Pono way.
Kuleana: To understand and fulfill one’s area of responsibility and stewardship as a privilege and honor.
Kahu: To mālama (care for) the physical and spiritual wellbeing of persons and places you have Kuleana.
Lōkahi: To seek harmony, peace, unity, collaboration, and balance.
Kūpa‘a: To be steadfast, firm, constant, immovable, loyal, and faithful to that which is Pono.
Alakoa: To develop the virtues of the koa (warrior) including, courage, loyalty, justice, mercy, generosity, hope, faith (in ke Akua), and nobility (to act nobly); and to exercise these virtues in the Pono defense and advancement of the individual, ‘ohana, community, and Lāhui (Country).
Aloha ʻĀina: To develop and promote great aloha for Kānaka ‘Ōiwi (Our People), kulaiwi (Our Homeland), and Lāhui (Our Country).
- What three components of the constitution are you particularly interested in advocating and why?
(1) Independent and Sovereign Nation of Hawai‘i
(2) Independent and Sovereign Nation of Hawai‘i
(3) Independent and Sovereign Nation of Hawai‘i
I believe in an Independent and Sovereign Nation of Hawai‘i. Only this will satisfy justice and the desires of our kūpuna. Only this will mend the broken hearts and spirits of our People. Only this will heal us from the inside out. Ho‘oponopono and Restitution, to make right what is wrong, and to return what was taken. Only then will Pono return to the land, our People will be free once more, the Land and People will prosper, and our Country will once again be as a shining light upon a hill.
- What governance model will you advocate for?
A democratic independent and sovereign Nation of Hawai‘i.
- Are you willing to discuss other governance models?
A nation building process should include a thorough review, study, and discussion of all potentially viable models. However, at the end of the day, I am committed to advocating for and accepting nothing less than the restoration of the sovereign and independent Nation and Country of Hawai‘i.
- How would the governance model that you choose impact the ali‘i trusts, the Hawaiian Homestead Act, federal contracts made with Native Hawaiian businesses; grants provided by the United States for programs and services to the Native Hawaiian people?
Nothing should be taken from any Ali‘i Trust by force. Hawaiian Home lands should be folded into the reorganized Hawaiian Nation. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) should continue as a state agency to service Native Hawaiians who remain U.S. citizens. Federal contracts with Native Hawaiians will continue to be inforce. Hawaiians will have the right to choose to remain U.S. citizens, be citizens of the Nation of Hawai‘i, or have dual citizenship. Establishing a Hawaiian Nation should not disenfranchise any Hawaiian form benefits being received or will be received from the U.S. government moving forward.
- In your governance model, would you be inclusive of people other than Native Hawaiians as citizens?
The Kingdom of Hawai‘i was not a race based Nation/Country and there is no reason to change this policy now. Any individual, Hawaiian or not, who is a descendant of anyone who was a citizen of the Kingdom of Hawaii should automatically be recognized as citizens of the Hawaiian Nation. Individuals with no ties to Hawai‘i may seek citizenship through an application process to become a citizen of the Sovereign and Independent Nation of Hawai‘i.
- How do you see participation by others in helping the ‘aha on the various aspects of the draft constitution?
As long as final decisions are made by the ‘Aha, if requested by the ‘Aha, we may seek the guidance, assistance, and mana‘o of experts in any area needed.
- Looking ahead, as a delegate to the ‘aha, how would you assure that the governance model ratified by the Native Hawaiian people is implemented and recognized at the state, federal, or international level, as appropriate.
Nation-Building is a complex process that must include three components:
(1) NATIONAL IDENTITY: The People must have a common identity, values, and beliefs that distinguishes them from others and binds them together as a People.
(2) ACCEPTANCE/UNITY: The People must accept the new Nation in numbers that reasonably represent the will of the People. The new Nation must be integrated and functional to be and remain viable. It is the People’s acceptance and participation in the new Nation that will legitimize its existence.
(3) GOVERNING BODY: The new Nation must have a body that will lead and administer the business of the Nation and its work must be recognized and accepted by the People.
If the vast majority of the People participate in and are supportive of the above, the People will have a stronger case to be recognized by others.
- Why should Native Hawaiians vote for you?
I obtained my law degree (J.D.) from Gonzaga University School of Law, Washington, an undergraduate degree (B.A.) with minors in Business and Economics from the University of Hawai‘i, and an associate’s degree (A.S.) in Electricity from the Hawai‘i Community College.
While in law school I studied various areas of the law that makes me uniquely qualified as an ‘Aha representative. Studies here include, but are not limited to: Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure, Native American Law, Administrative Law, Property Law, International Law, Environmental Law, Civil Rights Law, Environmental Law, and Water Law. In addition, numerous skills were taught and acquired that will be very beneficial as an ‘Aha Representative. These include, but are not limited to: Legal Research and Analysis, Critical Thinking, Professional Responsibility, Dispute Resolution, and Advocacy. While in undergraduate school, I also took numerous classes that would be helpful as an ‘Aha Representative. These include, but are not limited to: Political Science, Organizational Theory, International Law, and Economics.
I will utilize the knowledge and skills acquired through my years of education to help layout the foundations towards the building of a strong Hawaiian Nation.
REAL WORLD BUSINESS AND LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE
I have created and operated a number of successful businesses including a Health and fitness Center, Restaurant, Non-Alcohol Student Nightclub, Health and Fitness Distribution Company, and several smaller ventures. I am currently a land manager for OHA with kuleana over 25,000 acres on Hawai‘i Island consisting of over 90% of OHA’s land assets. I am a director of Kūkulu Business Resources, a native Hawaiian corporation that provides culturally competent business assessment and consultation services. I am also the CEO of Black Koa, a culturally competent, earth friendly, clothing company. As such, I have over 30-years of business management, administration, and leadership experience.
I will use his experience and understanding of business and economics in the development of an economically viable Hawaiian Nation.
GROUNDED WITH HOPES FOR THE FUTURE
I married my high school sweetheart (Gloria) and we continue to grow closer after 35 years of marriage. Gloria and I have 6 children and 9 grandchildren. I believes in being balanced, physically, mentally, emotionally, culturally, and most importantly, spiritually. With the exception of serving a two year mission for my church in Illinois and five years in Washington to complete his education, I have spent all of his life on Moku O Keawe and it is my intention to spend the rest of my years here. It is my hope that all of my ‘ohana will have the opportunity to live and remain in Hawaii and enjoy a good and full life.
I will work hard to develop a Hawaiian Nation that will provide my family, your family, and future generations with a Hawaiian Nation that will provide its citizens with the best that life has to offer.
Please visit my website at puaishibashi.com for more information regarding my candidacy for the ‘Aha.