Hawai’i: An American State or a State under American Occupation?

Dr Mera Penehira (Ngati Raukawa ki Otaki, Rangitaane, Ngai Te Rangi)
Dr Keanu Sai, Political Scientist of Hawai'i
Dr Keanu Sai, Political Scientist of Hawai’i

Press Release Tuesday 14th July

Dr. Keanu Sai, political scientist from the University of Hawai‘i is visiting Aotearoa this week to meet with tribal and political leaders regarding the assertion that Hawai‘i is under an illegal occupation by the U.S. and the implications this has for Aotearoa/New Zealand. Dr. Sai states that in 1898 “the United States unilaterally seized the Hawaiian Islands for military interests during the Spanish-American War and has since maintained an illegal and prolonged occupation of Hawaii, an independent and neutral State, which has resulted in the commission of war crimes at a colossal scale”.

Receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Dr. Sai’s research focused on Hawai‘i’s legal and political history since the 18th century to the present, and highlighted the illegal occupation of Hawai‘i by the United States. Dr. Sai currently lectures at the University of Hawai‘i Windward Community College and does consultant work.

Te Wharepora Hou member, Dr. Mera Lee-Penehira is co-ordinating Dr. Sai’s visit, which will include meeting with student and community groups also. According to Dr. Lee-Penehira “this affords us the opportunity to greater understand the realities of the illegal occupation of Hawai‘i, as well as to reawaken ourselves to the treaty relationship between Hawai‘i and Aotearoa. This has major implications for us. Our political leadership need to take notice and be ready to inquire into the legal status of Hawai‘i under international law and its economic, political and legal implications to Aotearoa and its citizenry.”

This millennium has uncovered new understandings of what has happened in Hawai‘i. As Dr. Sai states, “In 2001, the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, acknowledged that, ‘in the nineteenth century the Hawaiian Kingdom existed as an independent State recognized as such by the United States of America, the United Kingdom and various other States.’”

However, the US continues its illegal occupation, abuse of human rights and desecration of sacred lands. Te Wharepora hou have maintained their stance of solidarity with native Hawaiian peoples who presently struggle for the continued protection of Mauna a Wakea. Dr. Lee-Penehira advises, “Protectors of Mauna a Wakea have been occupying the sacred ancestral mountain on the island of Hawai‘i for over 100 days now, to prevent the construction of the world’s largest telescope; the planned Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT) project. This is a direct attack on the physical, spiritual and cultural integrity of the maunga and the wellbeing of the Hawaiian People and the generations to come. Dr. Sai and I will be joining other supporters of Mauna a Wakea in a dawn ceremony of solidarity on Saturday morning here in Auckland.”

It is time, as Dr. Sai states, for the world to understand “the violation of human rights and war crimes that continue to take place on a grand scale whilst hidden under a cloak of deception and lies. These abuses are now coming to the forefront”.

Media Contacts:
1. Dr Mera Lee-Penehira (Aotearoa) m.penehira@auckland.ac.nz +64 21 478194
2. Dr Keanu Sai (Hawai‘i) keanu.sai@gmail.com 00 1 808 383 6100

Author: Te Wharepora Hou

Te Wharepora Hou is a collective of wāhine who are mainly Tāmaki Makaurau based, but we have strong participation from wāhine based elsewhere in Aotearoa and the world. We have come together to ensure a stronger voice for wāhine and are concerned primarily with the wellbeing of whānau, hapū, iwi and all that pertains to Papatūānuku and the sustenance of our people.

3 thoughts on “Hawai’i: An American State or a State under American Occupation?”

  1. Yes we must end the illegal occupation of Hawaii, but how is it possible when the government has full control and the people has no say, TMT will still build and the people will be pushed aside. Mahalo Dr. Keanu Sai for pointing out the truth, but what can be done, tell us what to do. Mahalo

  2. Dr. Sai is partially true. Historical facts are that the U.S. orchestrated an unlawful invasion which they carried out on 17 January 1893, using the American businessmen in Hawaii as a front and set them up as a civilian arm of the military who they protected for 78 days with U.S. military-weapon troops before turning it over to American mercenaries to carry on the protection (same as what the U.S. in Iraq using Black Water mercenaries). On 31 May 1894, U.S. Congress passed the Turpie Resolution threatening U.S. officials and nations around the world from intervening in Hawaii’s situation lest it be an unfriendly act against the United States of America. The lawless U.S. belligerent occupation continues to this day and violates the customary international law of occupation while at the same time disregards the internationally recognized neutrality status gained by the Kingdom of Hawaii since 1854. No peace treaty was ever signed and the first attempt to annex Hawaii failed when incoming U.S. President Cleveland withdrew the treaty of annexation submitted by the complicit traitors of the U.S. and a few of the Hawaiian Kingdom subjects with dual citizenship (U.S. & Hawaii).

    They renamed themselves Republic of Hawaii while still under American protection, they submitted the second attempt to annex Hawaii, The Hawaiian Kingdom subjects did a plebiscite in the form of the Ku’e Petitions of 1897 protesting against annexation to the U.S. which ended in U.S. Congress rejecting the 2nd treaty of annexation submitted by the renamed Republic of Hawaii, whom the Hawaiian Kingdom subjects never recognized nor supported their authority nor jurisdiction. McKinley, now U.S. president, readily had the Newlands Joint Resolution passed and signed it as a treaty of Annexation in 1898 over the minority of voices in U.S. Congress that deemed it unlawful. This brings us up to the point where Dr, Sai begins his narrative. The voices of the Hawaiian Kingdom subjects continues to be ignored today.

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