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Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement hopes for resolution on $34M marketing contract

HTA Messaging.jpg kahului airport maui
Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority
FILE - A traveler points to a Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority message board at Kahului Airport on Maui.

The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement is waiting for the go-ahead from Gov. David Ige's office to take over destination management duties for the state.

The CNHA reached an agreement with the Hawaiʻi Visitors and Convention Bureau last month to share a $34 million tourism contract.

Ige has less than a month to OK that proposal before he leaves office.

Kūhiō Lewis, the CEO of the CNHA, said the council is eager to get started after the months of tension around the contract.

"Never before has the HVCB been challenged. And so of course, this is foreign to everyone. This is foreign to residents, this is foreign to the industry," he said.

"We wanted to make sure that the transition into this role was one that is embraced, that is understood by everyone, residents and industry, people alike. And really, that's the spirit of our application is one in which we could bridge community and industry together to find that special fabric that we all love and hang on to and what really makes Hawaiʻi special," Lewis said.

Ige’s last day in office is Dec. 5, now less than four weeks away.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Nov. 7, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at
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