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The other side of the story: Faye Hanohano responds to accusations

    By Sanjeev Ranabhat. March 24, 2014 - 9:48 pm


Rep. Faye Hanohano who was publicly reprimanded by House Speaker Joe Souki due to her inappropriate behavior toward an HPU student said she was misunderstood and mischaracterized and added that the whole story about her was one-sided.

In an hour-long video interview posted on, Hanohano presented her side of the story, saying HPU student Aarin Jacobs was unprepared and didn’t understand her when he came for the testimony.

Jacobs filed a complaint against Hanohano for her inappropriate behavior in a shark-protecting bill hearing last month that caused Souki to write her the warning letter.

“I did not sign for the letter,” Hanohano said. “I refused to sign it and I did write that it was unacceptable and it was one sided. When he came to testify, he was really unprepared of what he was really saying so I just need clarification.”

She said Jacobs didn’t understand the Hawaiian history.

“I was just trying to explain that we need to know a lot of our history before we could, you know, do a protective clause for mano (sharks),” Hanohano explained.

In a relaxed conversation with the reporter from Hawaii Island, she explained that Jacobs couldn’t understand that sharks are important part of the Hawaiian culture.

“… Whether it’s somebody’s’ aumakua (family god), somebody’s god, whether some people use it for resource to make our pahoa (dagger) … Sharks are important part of Hawaiian heritage,” Hanohano said.

“What if my tutu was so ono for shark?” Hanohano posed. “Would I deprive her of the food she grew up with? And tutu is like in her 90s? It’s almost time for her to leave our beautiful home and go to a greater home.”

“And (Jacobs) just did not understand what I was saying to him. And being this was his first time testifying, I knew he wasn’t prepared. So I tried to explain that all to him. But apparently he wasn’t listening. He felt offended. And he said I didn’t know anything about ocean marine resources.”

Hanohano, who hails from Hawaii Island, was criticized heavily by media. Her incident with Jacbos and reprimanded stories appeared on prime-time news and made headlines on the front page of the “Honolulu Star-Advertiser.”

Although she had apologized for her remarks, Hanohano expressed her bitterness toward the media and said the reporters are rude.

“I still get thrown under the bus,” she stated. “They (reporters) are only here to get a story nothing more, they don’t care about your integrity, and they don’t care about your dignity. (If) they can strip you, it would be right in front of the cameras.”

Hanohano is known to be a strong advocate for preserving the Hawaiian culture and language but is also criticized for speaking in Hawaiian in the House and not translating to English.

Hawaiian, along with English, remains the state’s official language.

“People don’t understand actually what I’m saying,” Hanohano said. “Our language is so rich, you need to go to the deeper land … but a lot of time people are so shallow they don’t get the message.”

Talking about her perception toward an outsider, she said Hawaii is the land of aloha and people who move here should be committed to the land.

“When you came here did you leave Hawaii in a better place or did you make it worse?” she asked.

Despite being reprimanded and criticisms, she is preparing to run for another term and said she would continue to work for the people of Hawaii.

“I’m not afraid to say what I need to say,” she concluded.

View the full video here:

For Kalamalama’s past coverage click here:

Hanohano’s conduct lacked ‘respect and courtesy’

Hanohano in deep water 

HPU student’s comments spark investigation of state legislator

Hanohano should be removed for rude, corrupt and prejudiced behavior, says HPU student

Photo: still from youtube.