HONOLULU (AP) - Members of the Native Hawaiian community, legal experts and environmentalists gathered at Iolani Palace on Monday to protest a Commission on Water Resources Management appointment.
The community members say they do not oppose Ted Yamamura on a personal level, but question how a Maui land appraiser has enough water resources management experience to serve on the state's oversight commission.
Speakers from Earthjustice, the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp., the Sierra Club and the League of Women Voters criticized the selection process and questioned why the nominating committee bypassed candidates with water management expertise.
Dane Wicker, a Senate Water Land and Housing Committee staff member, explained the committee determined the nomination process was acceptable. He noted that more than 100 people submitted testimony, the majority supporting Yamamura.
Yamamura and fellow Maui resident Jonathan Starr were easily endorsed by the Senate Land, Water and Housing Committee on April 5. The full Senate must confirm the appointments.