Maui Election

VIDEO: Kaniela Ing – Candidate Profile 2012

June 22, 2012, 11:07 AM HST
* Updated July 25, 3:54 PM
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Kaniela Ing. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Interview by Wendy Osher; transcribed by Wendy Osher

INTRO: Tell us about yourself and your campaign.

Aloha. My name is Kaniela Ing, and I’m offering to serve you as State House Representative in District 11, South Maui—to bring a fresh vision for Maui’s future. I was born and raised on Maui, and come from four generations on this island. Throughout my lifetime, I’ve seen many changes—some positive progress, but also some opportunities slipping away for future generations. I believe that together, we can nurture an even better Maui 20 or 50 years from now—where our keiki will be able to secure great jobs, buy homes, and have the option to raise their families in a place that they were brought up. Now, this will take long-term planning in government, which is the basis to my platform. I emphasize education, local jobs and business, and sustainable and renewable practices. I have the energy, experience, and relationships to get things done at the state capitol, and to get Kihei High School built. My name is Kaniela Ing, and I humbly ask for your vote.

Question 1: What is your number one priority for the South Maui Community in this upcoming term and how do you plan to implement action to accomplish this goal.

When I went out to craft my platform, and what will be my priorities, I realized that the best way for me to do that is to go to the people.

If I want to be a representative, then I should try my hardest to represent the public interest and not just special interests that give to campaigns. In order to do that, I knocked on 5,000 doors–I knocked on every single door in the district–listening to what everybody had to say; and I’m doing it all over again.

So, from those hundreds of phone calls, emails, and talking story one-on-one, I’ve realized that the number one priority is getting Kihei High School built. This is something that was talked about for years, and decades now, and hasn’t been followed through on. It hasn’t always been a priority.

Right now, Senator Roz Baker is pushing, and trying so hard to get this through, but we need more help as a representative with someone who actually has influence among his peers.

Throughout my work experience, I have established very positive relationships with the vast majority of fellow legislators; and through my education, I’ve learned to understand the different processes of getting such a project through, as well as passing law. I know what happens on the floor, in committee, and in conference.

So, I’m confident that if elected, that we’ll be able to push this project through and get this high school built so that we can nurture the young minds and the next generation, and provide the best education we can for our keiki.

Question 2: There is a new Auwahi windfarm being built in South Maui. What are your thoughts on renewable energy, and would you support tax credits for such clean energy initiatives.

My platform is all about a fresh vision for Maui’s future. It’s about long-term planning in government—so making an earnest effort to transition away from unclean and unsustainable energy, towards renewable and sustainable practices is very important to me.

I believe that in Hawai’i, we have a very unique, pre-existing cultural connection to our ‘āina, as well as a very unique topographical advantage that enables us to be societal leaders in this global, inevitable, and crucial shift towards renewable and sustainable practices.

That being said, I know a lot of you, or some of you, may not like wind power because they might be an eyesore and kind of change the vista of what we’re used to about this place that we call home; but there’s a point—to you I ask to look to the bigger picture and realize that future generations may not be able to experience this island as we have if we continue down the same route.

Wind power is forever, and it’s self-reliant. We’re not importing this energy. To me, it’s a very beautiful thing.

That being said, I wouldn’t support any policy that requires Maui to export any of this energy to ‘Oahu, without first taking care of our own energy needs. That’s very important to me, so that our needs, and our businesses, and our homes are taken care of.


Question 3: Health Care – Would you support the creation of a second hospital on Maui? Would it provide more convenient, life-saving care for outlying residents, or dilute the quality of care on the island.

Positive infrastructure development like the high school, and like a new hospital, is the one type of development that I can whole-heartedly support because it’s something that really adds to the community and plans for the future.

I believe that it’s due time for a new hospital here. I know the hospital workers now work really hard to take care of the population, but it’s ever-increasing.

(It’s) not only to meet our population size, but also to meet the size of our island. (Our island) is the second largest island, yet we only have this one true hospital here.

Preferably if it can be built in South or West Maui, that would be ideal, I think, for the growing cities out there.

So, yes, I will support it, but it will take a lot of work; it will take a lot of cooperation from the Maui delegation. Fortunately I have established very positive relationships with the Maui delegation, that we’re able to get in there and not get bullied by Honolulu interests.

Like the high school, I’m very confident that if elected, I can help push this project forward, and provide quality health care to our elderly, our children, and everybody here on Maui.


Closing Thoughts:

My name is Kaniela Ing and I’m running for the State House in South Maui—District 11—Kihei, Wailea, Makena. More information can be found through Facebook, on my website at, and I look forward to meeting each of you. Aloha.

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