20 Jul 2010

Some form of self government for native Hawaiians may be drawing closer

3:29 pm on 20 July 2010

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs says it's still confident the latest version of a bill to give native Hawaiians their own government will move forward.

The Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle has done a U-turn and is backing the bill after changes were made to legislation that has been before Congress for over a decade.

The changes would allow native Hawaiians a form of limited self government.

The Office's chief executive, Clyde Namuo, says an agreement has been reached between Hawaii's Senators and the Governor to try and ease the bill through the US Senate.

He says the Governor has even lobbied minority members of the Senate for their support..

"So at this point there are approximately only 58 votes in the Senate right now made up of majority members, soon to be 59 with Senator Bird's replacement. We need one more vote confirmed before the bill can be scheduled and it requires 60 votes to get the bill past cloture and cloture means to end debate on the bill."

The CEO of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Clyde Namuo.