Occupation: Sierra Club Hawai`i Chairperson
Running for: County Council seat representing East Maui
MAUI TIME WEEKLY: Why have you decided to run now after all these years of activism on Maui?
LUCIENNE DE NAIE: I have
been begged for six years now to run for office, and I realized I’m not
getting any younger. Right now, I feel like this is the time in my life
to run because I am getting much support and it takes a team to get
Why should people vote for you?
I have the most actual ground experience of the candidates. I have
met with the mayor on a regular basis to discuss issues, and I meet
with state and even federal officials to discuss problems and come up
with solutions on all levels. I have come up with solutions to problems
such as restoring water to the streams, and these dreams have become
reality, if not close.
What is the biggest problem facing the county?
We have not been planning the future very well for locals. We need
to make sure things like water, housing and beach access is readily
What do you intend to do about this?
Prioritize. Right now, development is being based on what brings in tax revenues. This is hurting the locals.
What are your feelings about the Akaka Bill?
Personally, I have not read the entire bill, so I only have other
people’s perspectives. I believe it was a noble effort for good
Hawaiian programs to continue, but I am not sure this bill was the only
solution. There was not an answer for every question against it. I wish
we could all just come together and care for the Hawaiian land. But
there does need to be a way for native Hawaiians to get their fair
share of land.
How about the Superferry?
We have not been given adequate information about it. I was one of
the first to request an environmental statement. I am not against it,
but it needs close scrutiny because it is such a new technology.
Substance needs to replace the hype.
George W. Bush?
I didn’t vote for him! I hate to criticize, because it isn’t easy being President, but he was and is simply not prepared.
Tourism needs to reevaluate its position in our economy. It’s scary,
but Maui is the most dependent of all the Hawaiian Islands, even more
than Oahu, on tourism. It’s the big chief on the island, but it’s not
healthy. We need to diversify our economy, but to do that we need
better education and housing. We cannot bring technology here without
What is the most difficult thing that has happened to you?
Taking care of my parents during the last several years of their
lives. It was very lonely, and it was tough making the right decisions.
What made you fall in love with Hawai`i?
I first visited here from LA area when I was 22, and I just loved
everything… how the people interacted, the language. It just always
felt like home. I never felt like a tourist. MTW