Senate Land and Water Committee Approves Kaluhiwa as DLNR Deputy Chair

 The Senate Committee on Water and Land has voted , 7-0, to send Kekoa Kaluhiwa, Governor Ige’s pic for deputy chair of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, on to the full Senate with a positive recommendation.  Those who opposed often emphasized Kluhiwa’s previous jobs as a lobbyist for the shipping industry; one asked, for instance, if Kaluhiwa would recuse himself on any matters related to land leases for GMO seed crops, since his former employers profited from shipping seed corn. But Kaluhiwa’s credentials as a former Kamehameha Schools land manager involved with conservation issues may have outweighed his lobbyist background in the senator’s minds; even Puna’s Russell Ruderman and committee chair Laura Thielen, among the harshest critics of Carleton Ching,  Ige’s fallen nominee for DLNR Chair, voted in favor of Kaluhiwa.  For more background on Kaluhiwa, see our earlier story, “DLNR Hearings, Round 2.”

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