Shelee Kimura, President and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. (“Hawaiian Electric”), a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (NYSE: HE) (“HEI”), issued this statement today:
After three months, the devastation and pain on Maui and across Hawaiʻi are still fresh in our minds and hearts. We hope to honor those who have been lost and seriously injured by providing support and a path forward. We believe the One ‘Ohana Initiative is a powerful example of how, in times of hardship and heartbreak, Hawai‘i stands together for our people and our communities.
In the overwhelming days immediately after the fires, Governor Green emphasized that his priority was to provide quick help to those who were hurt. As part of the coalition supporting this initiative, we value the Governor’s leadership to focus our initial efforts on the people and the families who have suffered the greatest losses.
This phase of the initiative provides an option for families who have lost a loved one and those who were severely injured to receive substantial payments in an expedited manner to support their healing and a path forward. This plan provides families with an alternative to a lengthy and expensive legal process. Those who choose to participate will waive their ability to get compensated again through litigation related to associated claims.
Hawaiian Electric is joining other partners to seed this fund as part of the One ‘Ohana Initiative. Over $150 million has been raised to date and Hawaiian Electric will contribute up to $75 million of the total. Hawaiian Electric’s contribution will be funded by insurance, not customers.
From the start, we have emphasized that Hawaiian Electric will be here for Maui, no matter how long it takes to rebuild. Today’s announcement is another important step that is part of Hawaiian Electric’s ongoing efforts to support Maui. One of the strengths of Hawai‘i is that we understand we are all one ‘ohana. When we come together in force and with aloha, we build a stronger future for Maui and everyone in Hawai‘i.
Our employees – including those on Maui who are experiencing their own significant loss – have been unwavering in their effort and commitment to support their families, friends and community on Maui. Their work goes beyond repairing and replacing equipment - it’s also about restoring hope.
As a Hawai‘i-based company that has served our communities for 132 years, we recognize our kuleana to the people of Maui and Hawai‘I, not just for this generation but for those to come.
Lahaina and Maui are appropriately the focus of our support and recovery efforts today and will be for some time. As the Governor said, we must also assemble a broad coalition of leaders and organizations to create and execute on a comprehensive strategy to keep all of Hawai‘i safe from the threat of wildfires and other extreme weather events as well as the catastrophic physical, emotional and economic damage they can cause.
I appreciate the courageous leadership of Governor Green to forge a path that allows us to work together toward solutions that can help Maui’s people and communities in a way that reflects Hawai‘i’s values. We look forward to working with Governor Green, community partners and community-led initiatives to support the people of Maui as they plan for today and for future generations.