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* Summary Of Written Comments Received By The Commission

The official comment period for the Draft Report of Findings of the Native Hawaiians Study Commission (published on September 23, 1982) ended on January 23, 1983. The initial deadline for comments on the Draft Report was November 23, 1982, but it was extended an additional 60 days at the request of several native Hawaiian groups and individuals. By May 1, 1983, the Native Hawaiians Study Commission had received almost 100 written comments on its Draft Report of Findings. All of these written comments are reproduced in full, as required by statute, in the next section of this Appendix. Many of the comments were used in revising the text of the Commission's Draft Report; these comments are referenced in the text where they were used. This summary specifically addresses those comments received by the Commission before February 10, 1983, that, while they were taken into account in the revision, were not specifically used or referenced in the text of the Commission's Final Report. Examples of specific comments that illustrate the points summarized here are given in the footnotes of this section.

The Commission received numerous comments from individuals and organizations requesting an extension of the Commission's original sixty-day deadline for public comments. 1/ Comments cited problems of limited access and availability. To accommodate those who wished to comment, while at the same time meeting its statutory deadline for submission of the Final Report, the Commission extended the deadline for public comment by an additional 60 days, as noted above.

In general, the Commission's Draft Report received mixed reviews. Some commenters called for a "second opinion," 2/ labelled the report a "cursory statement" that should be put on hold, 3/ or called for the report to be rewritten in its entirety. On the other hand, others thought that at least parts of the report were fairly well researched, very informative, 4/ and exhibited a satisfactory degree of competence and objectivity. 5/

One criticism that reappeared several times had to do with "bias." Some writers commented that the descriptions of Hawaiian culture and history had been written from a Western perspective and were therefore biased. 6/ Use of statistics in the report was also thought to be biased by some commenters. 7/ Others stated that because it is a politically-appointed body, the Commission may not be totally objective. 8/ Several comments also noted that the Government "responsible" for the present native Hawaiian situation could not objectively recommend a resolution. 9/ One comment 10/ suggested that to obviate this bias, the Commission should have a majority of native Hawaiian members with the remainder from the non-government sector. [It should be pointed out that Public Law 96-565 specifically states that "not more than three" of the nine commissioners may be residents of the State of Hawaii.] Still another comment suggested that a "mini non-government-member" commission be created to deal with the issue of reparations to be composed of representatives of the minority races of the United States.

Other comments dealing with the bias issue criticized the "kid-glove" treatment King Kalakaua received in the Draft Report. 12/ Many comments alluded to white racism against native Hawaiians and at least one 13/ remarked that the report should