Planning Process


The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Planning Office provides a long-term and comprehensive perspective that supports the Hawaiian Homes Commission, the Department and its beneficiaries in realizing the mission, goals, and objectives of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act.

The Planning System functions in three tiers:

Tier 1: The General Plan, identifies long-term goals, articulates vision, and organizes priorities for DHHL and the HHC.

Tier 2: This tier includes Strategic Program Plans and Island Plans, which focus on statewide programs and policies as well as island-specific land use projections.

Tier 3: Regional Plans and Area Development Plans are addressed in this tier. They identify and address issues and opportunities relative to existing homestead communities and their future development.



Embedded in this area of focus, the Planning Office provides planning support data and assessments in order to enhance plans, policies, and programs and make them more efficient. The Planning Office conducts specialized research, surveys, and other planning studies in order to monitor, implement and improve the Department’s overall Planning System.

General Plan – A comprehensive policy document adopted by the HHC in 2002 which ensures coordinated, integrated and orderly social, physical, and economic development of Hawaiian Home Lands through the establishment of goals, objectives, and implementing actions.

Island Plans – Assert the Commission’s authority to designate land uses for Hawaiian Home Lands based on a comprehensive analysis of the Trust lands, needs, and opportunities on Hawai‘i Island (2002), Kaua‘i (2004), Maui (2004), Moloka‘i (2005), and  O‘ahu (2014). Island Plans also identify priority areas for homestead development within each mokupuni based upon homestead applicant preferences and site analysis to identify lands most suitable for development.

Regional Plans – Regional Plans provide the means to define opportunities for partnerships among stakeholders, including the Trust, its beneficiaries, and other interest groups in the region. This participatory planning process also documents issues and opportunities in the homestead community and identifies priority projects through consensus building in the near term two to four year period.  There are 22 Regional Plans throughout the State.

Beneficiary Policy and Advocacy

The Planning Office is responsible for conducting beneficiary consultation on proposed policy changes and land use designation changes, including those related to revenue-generating projects affecting homestead regions.

Program Plans – Program Plans are statewide plans that inform or carry out general plan policies and priorities for specific functional areas, such as but not limited to affordable housing, native Hawaiian development, energy, disaster preparedness, community resiliency, agriculture, and water resources.

Area Development Plans – Area-specific plans that carry out second-tier planning recommendations. These plans contain information necessary to implement area-wide development, including off-site infrastructure systems and improvements, utilities, estimated costs, and phased implementation.

Implementation Tools – The Planning System includes a number of tools to ensure the long-range, coordinated implementation of directives and priorities established by the HHC for plans in Tiers 1, 2, and 3. Implementation tools include the operating budget, capital improvements program, land use designations, and federal and state legislation.

Evaluation Program – The Evaluation Program component of the DHHL Planning System allows the Department to identify, monitor and assess its plans, programs and policies in order to provide more efficient and effective services to beneficiaries. By identifying strengths and areas that need improvement, the Evaluation Program provides critical information and analysis that supports future decision making by the Department and the HHC.