HHC – Hawaiian Homes Commission

Pursuant to section 202, Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, the Department is headed by an executive board, the Hawaiian Homes Commission, whose nine members are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. Three of the members are residents of the City and County of Honolulu; two are residents of the County of Maui, with one being a resident of the island of Moloka‘i; two are residents of the County of Hawai‘i, one being a resident of East Hawai‘i and the other a resident of West Hawai‘i; one is a resident of the County of Kaua‘i; and the ninth member is the Chairman, who is appointed by the Governor from among the members of the Commission. Members must be residents of the State at least three years prior to their appointment. At least four of the members must have not less than one-fourth Hawaiian blood. The Chairman of the Commission serves as the full-time administrator of the Department; other members of the Commission serve without pay.

Hawaiian Homes Commission Members

William Ailā, Jr., Interim Chairman

  • Effective May 17, 2019 

William Ailā Jr. was named interim Chairman by Governor David Ige on May 17, 2019.  As former chair of the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) and head of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Deputy Ailā directed the agency’s activities including the management of public lands; forest, fish and game resources of the State; and of the forest reserve, state parks, small boat harbors, and historic sites.

Kahikina Michael P. Kahikina

  • O’ahu
  • Term: July 2011 – June 2019

Mike Kahikina is the executive director of Kahikolu ‘Ohana Hale ‘O Wai‘anae and a former state representative representing the Leeward Coast. He has been active in the homestead community, sitting on the Executive Board of the Nānākuli Hawaiian Homestead Community Association and working with the Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Homelands Assembly.

20151210 Commissioner Wescoatt mug Wren Wescoatt III

  • O’ahu
  • Term: December 2015 – June 2019

Wren Wescoatt brings with him nearly a decade of experience in renewable energy project development. Since 2007, Wescoatt has served as Senior Director of Development in Hawai’i for SunEdison (formerly First Wind). Prior to that, Wescoatt founded College Connections Hawaiʻi, a statewide non-profit organization providing educational services including a Native Hawaiian Scholars Program and SAT preparation classes for rural high schools with high percentage Hawaiian populations.

Mr. Wescoatt received an M.A. in Education from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, a B.A. in Communication from Stanford University, and is a 1986 graduate of Kamehameha Schools.

Randy Awo

  • Maui
  • Term: September 2017 – June 2019

The Hawaiian Homes Commission newest Commissioner hails from the island of Maui and most recently served as the Administrator for the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) branch of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). 

A longtime beneficiary of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Mr. Awo brings  over 32 years of experience in government and community relations to the Commission. In addition, he has an extensive background in conservation being one of the creators of the Ahupua’a management model which is aimed at protecting, managing and conserving Hawaii’s natural resources. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Pauline Namu`o

  • O’ahu
  • Term: October 2018 – June 2020

Pauline Namu’o’s career spans over 30 years in State government service.  During the Cayetano administration, she served first as the Governor’s Legislative Liaison and during the Governor’s second term she served as the Deputy Director for Administration in the Department of Public Safety.  Over her career in government she served as a Probation Officer and as the Administrator of the District Court’s Division of Driver Education.  Most recently, Commissioner Namu’o spends her time as a Substitute Teacher in the public school system.  She has accepted various long term assignments at Dole Middle School where she works with students living in public housing.  Commissioner Namu’o has also worked as a Consultant to the Kaho`olawe Island Reserve Commission.  She has been active in various Hawaiian organizations and is currently the Pelekikena of Ahahui Kaahumanu.  Over her lengthy career she has also served on various boards and commissions and is a member of the Kalihi Palama Hawaiian Civic Club.  Her interests are in education and public policy.   

Zachary Helm

  • Moloka’i
  • Term: April 2018 – June 2020

Zachary Helm has thirty years of experience working with the Department of Parks and Recreation for the County of Maui. Mr. Helm served most of his tenure at the Parks and Recreation as the District Supervisor III of the Molokai District, where he was responsible for the operations and maintenance of parks and recreational facilities, equipment, and recreation programs. Mr. Helm is also active in the community, serving on various boards such as the Kalama’ula Hawaiian Homestead Association, Friendly Isle United Way, Molokai Catholic Community Council, and Molokai Little League Association. 

Dennis Neves

  • Kaua’i
  • Term: April 2019 – June 2021

Dennis Neves is a Native Hawaiian beneficiary residing in Anahola Kaua’i. He brings over 27 years of public service and has an extensive Executive Management background. Dennis was an Executive Manager for the San Francisco Airport, reporting to the Director. In 2012 Dennis accepted a position with the State of Hawaii as the Kauai Airports District Manager until December 2017. He is currently serving as the second Vice President of the Kalalea Anahola Farmers Hui. Mr. Neves is dedicated and passionate about working towards fulfilling the mission of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole and improving the lives of our beneficiaries and those on the waitlist. Being on the DHHL waiting list for 40 years, he truly understands the frustration of our Hawaiians.


  • East Hawai’i (Hawai’i Island)
  • Term: 


West Hawaii Commissioner David Kaapu David B. Ka’apu

  • West Hawai’i (Hawai’i Island)
  • Term: April 2018 – June 2021

David Ka’apu is a practicing attorney at law in Kailua-Kona with emphasis in quiet title, business law, wills and trusts, general litigation and land use. He graduated from the University of Hawai’i with a BA in anthropology (Hawaiian archaeology) and received his JD from Santa Clara University in 1988.

All correspondence for the Hawaiian Homes Commission is managed through Commission Secretary Leah Burrows-Nu'uanu via this form.

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