The Aloha Spirit Law, 1986 
Hawai`i Revised Statutes (5.7-5)


The Aloha Spirit Law is an existing law "on the books" in Hawai`i. It acknowledges that The Aloha Spirit was the working philosophy of native Hawaiians and was presented as a gift to the people of Hawai`i."


All citizens and government officials of Hawai`i are obligated by law to conduct themselves in accordance with this law, while performing their duties and obligations, as well as in their day-to-day living. Likewise, those visiting our fair islands are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with this Hawaiian law.


 [5-7.5]  "Aloha Spirit" 


(a)  "Aloha Spirit" is the coordination of mind and heart within each person.  It brings each person to the self.  Each person must think and emote good feelings to others.  In the contemplation and presence of the life force, "Aloha", the following unuhi laula loa (free translation) may be used:


Akahai, [ah kah hai'], meaning kindness to be expressed with tenderness;     


Lōkahi, [LOH' kah hee], meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony;


`Olu`olu, [oh' loo oh' loo], meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness;


Ha`aha`a, [hah' ah hah' ah], meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty;


Ahonui, [ah hoh nui'], meaning patience, to be expressed with perseverance.


These are traits of character that express the charm, warmth and sincerity of Hawaii's people.  It was the working philosophy of native Hawaiians and was presented as a gift to the people of Hawaii. 


"Aloha" is more than a word of greeting or farewell or a salutation. 


"Aloha" means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return. 


"Aloha" is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence. 


"Aloha" means to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable.


 (b)  In exercising their power on behalf of the people and in fulfillment of their responsibilities, obligations and service to the people, the legislature, governor, lieutenant governor, executive officers of each department, the chief justice, associate justices, and judges of the appellate, circuit, and district courts may contemplate and reside with the life force and give consideration to the "Aloha Spirit". [L 1986, c 202, 1]


[5-7.6]  Aloha order of merit: 


(a)  There is established the Aloha order of merit, within the office of the governor for administrative purposes, to honor individuals selected under this section.  Individuals conferred the lifetime title of "member of the Aloha order of merit" shall be inducted into the order by the governor after receiving the approval of the legislature by concurrent resolution.  Honorees shall have:


     (1)  Achieved national or international recognition in their field either by a single event or by the totality of their work that has been either pioneering in their field or that has been outstanding in the long-term; and

     (2)  (A)  Contributed to the attainment of statehood for Hawaii; (B)  Devoted themselves to the betterment of the State, embodying the concept of the Aloha Spirit; (C)  Provided extraordinary service to the State; or D)  Brought honor to the State.


(b)  Honorees shall be selected by an Aloha order of merit committee.  The committee shall consist of three members.  Each member shall serve for a term of two years.  One member of the committee shall be a member of the senate appointed by the president of the senate, one member of the committee shall be a member of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, and one member of the committee shall be appointed by the governor.


(c)  Nominations for honorees shall be accepted by the committee from members of the legislature, the governor, and the general public.  Nominations shall be in the form and manner prescribed by the office of the governor.  The committee shall establish criteria for selection and induction to ensure and maintain the prestige of the order.  The committee may select or choose not to select any individual from the nominations received in any given year.


(d)  Upon induction or as soon thereafter as may be necessary, the governor may award appropriate mementos to members of the order.


 (e)  The governor may request a member of the order to serve as an emissary for the people of Hawaii on appropriate occasions. [L 1993, c 231, 2]


[5-7.7]  Aloha order of merit location: 


There shall be set aside within the Honolulu International Airport an area to exhibit commemorative displays honoring members of the order.  The displays may include likenesses of members and descriptions of the meritorious achievements of each member. [L 1993, c 231, 3]


Back to Mēheuheu (customs)

  History  Atlas  Culture Language Links home     photos     baritone ukulele     lucky u live hawai'i