Colette Y. Pi`ipi`i Machado

Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Moloka`i and Lana`i

Serving OHA Beneficiaries
for 12 years with...



"The path at OHA has been very bumpy and stressful, but I have managed to weather the frequent storms by focusing on the needs and rights of all Native Hawaiians. I have been instrumental in providing a stable and dedicated leadership for OHA and we have accomplished a lot.


Experienced Political Leader


Dedicated Community Service

Community-based Economic Development

Recognized Leader

Molokai - Land of My Birth

Learn more about Colette


Click here to see GSPD and Trustee
Grants of $5,131,196.02

- Molokai and Lanai FY 2004 - FY 2008

Colette at the shoreline of 100 acres of makai lands at Kalaeloa, proposed ceded lands settlement.


Public Offices Held

Hawaii State Land Use Commissioner
Hawaiian Home Lands Commissioner
Molokai Burial Council
Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commissioner
Molokai Fishpond Restoration Task Force
Governor's Molokai Subsistence Task Force




Hawai'i State Land Use Commissioner
Hawaiian Home Lands Commissioner
Moloka'i Burial Council
Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commissioner
Moloka'i Fishpond Restoration Task Force
Governor's Moloka'i Subsistence Task Force

Over Colette's many years in public service, she always stands up for what she feels is right. 

"I supported a controversial master plan for Moloka'i Ranch which would have donated 26,200 acres of premier Hawaiian legacy lands to the community and protected an additional 24,950 acres of open space under easements, in return for the development of only 200 two-acre lots.  I felt it was the best strategy to keep Moloka'i the Last Hawaiian Island and sustain livelihoods for the island's families, especially those working for the Ranch."

One positive outcome of this plan was the donation of 1600 acres along the northwest coast of Moloka'i to the Moloka'i Land Trust (MLT), chaired by Colette. The purposes of the MLT is to protect and restore the land and natural resources of Moloka`i, and to perpetuate the unique Native Hawaiian traditions and character of the island, for the benefit of the future generations of all Moloka`i, particularly Native Hawaiians.  The Kawaikapu watershed will also be protected from development by the MLT.

Through it all, I have supported $5,131,196 in funding for over 30 organizations on Lana`i and Moloka`i for more than 35 projects, supporters, and critics alike.

Protecting Hawaiian Water Rights
By Trustee Colette Y. Machado

Aloha Kakou! With the Legislative Session in full swing, the Beneficiary Advocacy and Empowerment Committee has reviewed and taken position on over three hundred bills that affect Hawaiians.  This week Trustees discussed Senate Bill 503 titled, Relating to Water Resources.  The bill seeks to amend the Constitution of the State of Hawaii by, 'transferring responsibility for protecting, conserving, establishing use priorities for, and regulating the water resources" from the State Water Commission to the individual counties.  The rationale behind the bill is the idea that eliminating duplicate water services will provide a more streamlined, cost effective government. 

The state's Water code took more than eight years to establish and was finally enacted in 1987.  Many hours were spent in community meetings throughout the state to assure the code addressed concerns of stake holders at every level.  Section five of chapter 174C states that administration of the code rests with the commission on water resource management.  It's difficult to imagine that a single Legislative measure could jeopardize all the thoughtful work that developed into the final draft and approval of the code.

During the time when the code was being established, there were those who were in favor of the counties managing their own water resources.  Many people had concerns that the counties were the biggest users of water to begin with.  In essence, the counties would set priorities, conservation, and use policies accordingly to the will of their administration.  Would each county adopt priorities that include the protection of traditional and customary Hawaiian rights?  Would the counties provide a means for public input? Would water quality still fall under the state's Health Department?  Then the question is, who would regulate the counties?  Who would make sure the counties were fulfilling the provisions of the water code?

In a very public display, the former Deputy Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resource's (DLNR) Water Commission resigned in protest, after being required to provide testimony in support of the bill.  This action poses and overall concern for condition of the DLNR as stewards of Hawaii's environmental resources, cultural resources and the ceded land trust.

This latest act follows a string of questionable decisions taken by the department, starting from the mismanagement of the State Historic Preservation Division to what seems to be a mass exodus of key personnel over internal conflicts.  Additionally, OHA has been staunch critics of the department's valuation of lands leased to private entities at outrageous discounts. 

In recent years we've tried to call attention to the department's policy of accepting water use and conservation district land use permit applications that fail to account for environmental impacts and Hawaiian rights.  State laws provide that OHA be notified and allowed to comment when anyone files one of these applications.  In accordance with Chapter 10 HRS, OHA is charged with reviewing applications for areas that conflict with or inhibit the protection of traditional and customary Hawaiian rights.   Too often these applications are accepted even though the section referring to the impact on Native Hawaiians is left blank. 

There seems to be a glimmer of hope at the Legislature this year though, as some house and senate members are beginning to call for a performance audit of the department.  While no formal dates have been confirmed, a performance review may be a critical step to clarifying policies and duties and the general stabilization of this very important department.

Colette Machado
Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Moloka`i and Lana`i
Experienced Political