16 Dec 2010

Study underway on Hawaii native government

2:56 pm on 16 December 2010

A spokesperson for a Hawaiian senator says a new study will be a stepping stone towards the creation of a native Hawaiian government.

A spending bill, which is expected to be passed by the United States Senate in the next days, includes a provision for a study on forming a native Hawaiian governing body.

A spokesperson for Hawaiian Senator Daniel Akaka, Jesse Broder Van Dyke, says the study should be completed next year.

Mr Broder Van Dyke says it comes as Senator Akaka is pushing for the Native Hawaiian Reorganisation Act, which would create a new government, to be put to the vote in the Senate.

He says no date has been set for the vote as the Senate is bogged down with other matters, and the study will keep the ball rolling

"The idea is to do this study so that if the Native Hawaiian Reorganisation passes in the future the state of Hawaii can hit the ground running in beginning that process. Native Hawaiians are the last major indigenous group in the United States of America which doesn't have this sort of recognition."

Jesse Broder Van Dyke says there is bipartisan support in the Senate for the act, which also has the support of the public and legislators in Hawaii.