Senator Lorraine Inouye (District 4 - Hilo, Hāmākua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa and Kona) issued the following statement today regarding her recent comments on House Bill 499:
“I have been made aware that comments I made during a recent interview about House Bill 499, providing authority for the extension of certain leases of public lands were reported out of context, which led to the isolated statement being hurtful to members of the Hawaiian community.
In seeing how my statement was reported, I apologize for offending anyone who felt that I was being disrespectful towards the Hawaiian people and their culture. That was never my intent and I regret the words I chose to use. Moving forward I am committed to being more sensitive to issues before my Water and Land Committee. I am in conversations with respected Hawaiian cultural practitioners to help educate me on these issues.”