Manifestation of Authority

Building a nation. One step at a time.

Proof can be had from the works on the natural law that liberty and independence belong to man by his very nature, and that they can not be taken from him without his consent…But the whole body of the Nation, the State, so long as it has not voluntarily submitted to other men or other Nations, remains absolutely free and independent.
—The Law of Nations (1758)

Having learned the hidden significance of the U.S. Apology Resolution, KAONA—an affiliation of private citizens dedicated to teaching all laws relevant to nationhood—was created in June of 1996. Its primary goal was to educate the public to a process described in public international law used to restore nations which have suffered from foreign invasion and conquest.

The members of KAONA gave presentations in every district of Hawai’i. The process they advocated was described in The Law of Nations, a text on international jurisprudence. This book was used by the framers of the American Constitution during its composition. The missionary William Richards taught the law of nations to King Kamehameha the Third in 1839. KAONA would teach these laws to all who attended their presentations.

Foremost among these principles was that all nations—like people—enjoy and exercise rights, and are bound to observe the obligations corresponding to such rights. Specifically, a nation has an obligation to preserve and perfect its own existence and must exercise rights to that end. In order to revive the authority that lay suspended for more than a century, the descendants of the founders of the Kingdom of Hawai’i had to reclaim the proper status of nationhood.

Individual kanaka maoli came from every island to participate in a series of conventions dedicated to raising a government identical to the one overthrown. It was hoped that enough people would volunteer to temporarily occupy the high offices of the legislative, executive and judicial branches.

This would accomplish two objectives: confirm the status of being the proper claimant to nationhood, and lay the groundwork to naturalize all those who were willing to become citizens.

Reviving the government

On March 13, 1999, delegates representing all twenty-four districts of the Kingdom of Hawai’i attended a convention in Punalu’u, a community on the northern side of the island of O’ahu.  Twenty-four kanaka maoli volunteered to serve as their districts’ representatives in the House of Representatives pro tem. Another twenty-four volunteered to serve in the House of Nobles pro tem, completing the bicameral parliament of the Hawaiian government.

In accordance with the Hawaiian Kingdom Constitution, this legislature elected a monarch pro tem who, in turn, appointed individuals to the Executive Cabinet pro tem and the Supreme Court pro tem.

With this temporary government of volunteers in place, these fifty-six officers formally agreed to not exercise any of the powers of their offices. Their sole responsibility was to sign up all those residents of Hawai’i who were willing to abandon their current nationality and become citizens of the Kingdom of Hawai’i.

Identifying the population

Another law principle states that citizenship is based on allegiance, not race. Hawai’i is a land of many ethnicities. The pro tem government decided that the offer to become a citizen would be extended not only to kanaka maoli, but also to Hawaiians (all those residents born in Hawai’i not of aboriginal Hawaiian ancestry) and to foreigners (all those residents born elsewhere not of aboriginal Hawaiian ancestry).

Throughout the year, the pro tem officers conducted a publicity campaign for this reinstatement initiative. Ads were placed in the classified and public notice sections of each island’s newspapers. Informational pamphlets with contact numbers were distributed to the general populace. Two or three times a week, the pro tem officers and other volunteers waved signs at busy intersections in their home towns during peak traffic times.

Registration booths were set up in public places so that all who were ready to commit could apply to this process. Since they had the inherent right to return to their nation, the kanaka maoli who signed up completed Applications of Repatriation. Those Hawaiians and foreigners who chose to commit their loyalty to this process completed Applications of
Naturalization. Copies of these applications were then sent to U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

The eligible voters resulting from this citizenship drive were qualified to cast ballots in the first parliamentary election of the Kingdom of Hawai’i in over a century. Affidavits of Candidacy to the Office of Representative or the Office of Noble were made available to all those who were interested in serving as a legislator. The deadline to participate in this election as a voter and/or a candidate was Saturday, October 30, 1999.

Exercising the sovereignty

On Saturday, November 6, 1999, all twenty-four voting districts selected the individual they wanted to serve them in the House of Representatives. The voters of each island also selected those individuals who would serve them in the at-large seats of the House of Nobles. The election of these forty-eight legislators marked the return of the legislative branch of the true and rightful government of Hawai’i.

Among the resolutions passed by the temporary government was the suspension of the offices of the executive and judicial branches upon the eve of the parliamentary election. Unlike the March 13th convention, the elected legislature would not immediately reinstate the executive branch by installing a monarch. It became their duty to determine what form of government the citizens wanted: constitutional monarchy or parliamentary democracy.

The legislators’ and citizens’ primary responsibility was to address this concern by updating the Hawaiian Kingdom Constitution for the first time in 113 years.

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