Bill calls for Ni`ihau to become its own county

Published On: Feb 07 2014 09:39:10 AM HST

Ni'ihau could become its own county under a bill written by Sen. Clayton Hee.

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Hee says the Robinson family that owns the island has paid some $400,000 in real property taxes since 2001, but gets nothing for it.

Hee says it's only fair the money is kept on the island for the improvements the family makes on its own.

"In exchange for that, they don't get fire, and don't get police, ambulance, water delivery, sewage disposal and road maintenance.  All of that is paid by the Robinsons," said Hee.

This is one of the many hot button bill on Ni'ihau.

Other bills deal with an overfishing problem which calls for the reinstatement of Konahiki, or fishing and hunting rights, something that was lost when the Robinson family bought the land from the ali'i.

It is part of a push to limit fishing around the island to Ni'ihau residents.

Meanwhile, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is asking the governor to use his powers to reserve the nearshore fisheries for Ni'ihau.  OHA voted on Thursday to ask Gov. Neil Abercrombie to issue an executive order.

Ni'ihau is currently part of Kauai County.


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