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Senate confirms Kokubun, Takamine

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Editor

Two former Big Island senators have been confirmed by the state Senate to their new jobs.

The Senate unanimously voted for Russell Kokubun as chairman for the Department of Agriculture.

Kokubun, 62, served as senator since 2000, and he handled posts including Senate vice president and chair of the Water and Land Committee.

Abercrombie appointed his East Hawaii campaign chairman, 68-year-old Gil Kahele, to replace Kokubun in the state Senate.

Also, the Senate has unanimously confirmed Dwight Takamine as Director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Takamine, 58, has served as an elected official for both the State House of Representatives and the Senate. Takamine also maintains considerable experience in the private practice of law.

Obtaining a Juris Doctor Degree from the Williams S. Richardson School of Law, Takamine has 30 years experience as a practicing attorney, with a primary focus on labor law.

Malama Solomon was appointed to serve out Takamine’s Senate term.

Kokubun issued the following statement on the DOA’s website:

Aloha and welcome to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture website!

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s 260 employees statewide work to support, enhance and promote Hawaii’s agriculture and aquaculture industries.

Hawaii’s transition from mono-crop plantations, such as pineapple and sugarcane, to diversified agriculture, including nursery products, seed crops and other vegetable and fruit crops, is important to the state’s economy, environment and lifestyle. Agriculture not only feeds our state, but it also keeps our unique working landscape green – a feature appreciated by residents, as well as the millions of visitors to our islands.

Hawaii’s agricultural products are valued around the world for superior quality and the sharing of the Aloha spirit. Hawaii is also a recognized world leader in aquaculture, producing the finest seafood products for Hawaii consumers and export markets.

In addition, HDOA protects our agricultural interests with inspection for invasive species of incoming plant material and animals, safeguarding animal and plant health, supporting farmers with affordable land and water, providing financial assistance to farmers and assuring quality of produce.

We hope that you will find our website informative and interesting. We appreciate your interest in HDOA and your continued support of Hawaii agriculture.

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