1840 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii

1840 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii

The 1840 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii titled Ke Kumukānāwai a me nā Kānāwai o ko Hawai’i Pae ‘Āina, Honolulu, 1840 was the first fully written constitution for the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. Overall, this version of the Constitution of Hawaiʻi established a constitutional monarchy subjecting even the king to certain principles of democracy.



The constitution was enacted on October 8, 1840 by King Kamehameha III and Kekāuluohi as Kuhina Nui, an office similar to Prime Minister or co-regent. This constitution as compared to its predecessor was extremely detailed. The June 7, 1839 document, sometimes called a constitution, but more similar to a declaration of rights simply stated the government was based on Christian values and equality for all.[1] Incorporating the 1839 document, the 1840 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawai’i was a turning point in Hawai’i government.

This constitution organizes the power of government and its functions by defining the House of Representatives as the legislative body, giving their people the power to vote, proclamation of the House of Kamehameha, establishment of the office of Kuhina Nui, creation of the office of royal governors of the various islands and recognition of Christianity as an authority. Strong Christian values play an enormous role in The Kingdom of Hawai'i as represented by this Constitution.[citation needed]

Section 1:Declaration of Rights both of the People and Chiefs

Original Text


i ka pono o na kanaka a me na'lii.

Ua hana mai ke Akua i na lahuikanaka a pau i ke koko hookahi, e noho like lakou ma ka honua nei me ke kuikahi, a me ka pomaikai. Ua haawi mai no hoi ke Akua i kekahi mau waiwai like, no na kanaka a pau, me na'lii a pau o na aina a pau loa.

2. Eia kekahi mau waiwai ana i haawi mai ai i kela kanaka keia kanaka, i kela alii keia alii i noho pono; o ke ola, o na lala o ke kino; o ka noho hoopaa ole ia, a me ke keakea ole ia, o na mea a kona lima i hana pono ai, a me na mea a kona manao i hooponopono ai. Aole nae na mea i papaia e na kanawai a pau.

3. Na ke Akua mai no hoi ka oihana alii, a me ka noho alii ana i mea e malu ai; aka, i ka hana ana i na kanawai o ka aina, aole pono e hanaia kekahi kanawai hoomalu alii wale no, a hoomalu ole i na makaainana. Aole hoi e pono ke kau i ke kanawai hoowaiwai i na'lii wale no, a waiwai ole na makaainana; a mahope aku nei, aole loa e kauia kekahi kanawai ku e i keia mau olelo i oleloia maluna, aole hoi e auhau wale ia, aole e hookauwaia, aole e hoohana wale ia kekahi kanaka ma ke ano ku e i ua mau olelo la.





"God hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the earth," in unity and blessedness. God has also bestowed certain rights alike on all men and all chiefs, and all people of all lands.

2. These are some of the rights which He has given alike to every man and every chief of correct deportment; life, limb, liberty, freedom from oppression; the earnings of his hands and the productions of his mind, not however to those who act in violation of the laws.

3. God has also established government, and rule, for the purpose of peace; but in making laws for the nation it is by no means proper to enact laws for the protection of the rulers only, without also providing protection for their subjects; neither is it proper to enact laws to enrich the chiefs only, without regard to enriching their subjects also, and hereafter there shall by no means be any laws enacted which are at variance with what is above expressed, neither shall any tax be assessed, nor any service or labor required of any man, in a manner which is at variance with the above sentiments.


This section of the Constitution is the Constitution of 1839, which discusses the equality of man and king, and the importance of God. Furthermore, this first section is the foundation of the entire constitution.

Section 2: Protection for the People declared

Original Text

4. Hoomalu na Kanaka a pau.

Nolaila, e hoolaha'i aku ai keia olelo, i mea hoomalu like i na kanaka a pau, a me na'lii a pau o keia pae aina, i ko lakou noho pono ana, i keakea ole ai kekahi alii i kekahi o na makaainana, i like hoi ka malu o na'lii, a me na kanaka malalo o ke kanawai hookahi.

5. Ua hoomaluia ke kino o na kanaka a pau, a me ko lakou aina, a me ko lakou mau pahale, a me ko lakou waiwai a pau; ke malama lakou i na kanawai o ke aupuni, aole hoi e laweia kekahi mea, ke olelo ole ia kela mea ma ke kanawai. O ke alii e hana i kekahi mea ku e i keia Kumu kanawai, e pau kona noho alii ana ma keia pae aina o Hawaii nei, ke hoomau ia malaila, pela na kiaaina, a me na luna a me na konohiki a pau.

6. Aka, ina huli hou ka mea i hewa, a hooponopono e like me na kanawai, alaila, hiki no i na'lii ke hooku hou ia ia i kona wahi ku ai mamua aku o kana hana hewa ana.



The above sentiments are hereby published for the purpose of protecting alike, both the people and the chiefs of all these islands, while they maintain a correct deportment; that no chief may be able to oppress any subject, but that chiefs and people may enjoy the same protection, under one and the same law.

5. Protection is hereby secured to the persons of all the people, together with their lands, their building lots and all their property, while they conform to the laws of the kingdom, and nothing whatever shall be taken from any individual except by express provision of the laws. Whatever chief shall act perseveringly in violation of this Constitution, shall no longer remain a chief of the Hawaiian Islands, and the same shall be true of the governors, officers and all land agents.

6. But if any one who is deposed should change his course, and regulate his conduct by law, it shall then be in the power of the chiefs to reinstate him in the place he occupied previous to his being deposed.


Section two of the constitution further declares that no law shall surpass the word of God and begins the guideline for criminal court.

Section 3: Exposition of the Principles on which the present Dynasty is founded

Original Text

14. Ka hoakaka ana i ke Ano o ka Noho o na'lii.

Eia ke ano o ka noho ana o na'lii a me ka hooponopono ana i ka aina. O Kamehameha I, oia ke poo o keia aupuni, a nona no na aina a pau mai Hawaii a Niihau, aole nae nona ponoi, no na kanaka no, a me na'lii, a o Kamehameha no ko lakou poo nana e olelo i ka aina. Nolaila, aohe mea pono mamua, aohe hoi mea pono i keia manawa ke hoolilo aku i kekahi lihi iki o keia mau aina me ka ae ole o ka mea ia ia ka olelo o ke aupuni.

15. Eia ka poe nana ka olelo mai ia manawa mai, O Kamehameha II, o Kaahumanu I, a i keia wa hoi, o Kamehameha III. Na keia poe wale no e olelo o ke aupuni, a hiki i keia wa, a o na palapala a pau a lakou i kakau ai, oia wale no na palapala o ke aupuni.

16. E mau loa aku hoi ke aupuni ia Kamehameha III, a me kona hooilina aku. Eia hoi kona hooilina, o ka mea ana e olelo pu ai me na'lii i kona wa e ola ana, a i ole ia e olelo, alaila lilo ka olelo i na'lii wale no, a me ka poe i kohoia no hoi.



The origin of the present government, and system of polity, is as follows. Kamehameha I, was the founder of the kingdom, and to him belonged all the land from one end of the Islands to the other, though it was not his own private property. It belonged to the chiefs and people in common, of whom Kamehameha I was the head, and had the management of the landed property. Wherefore, there was not formerly, and is not now any person who could or can convey away the smallest portion of land without the consent of the one who had, or has the direction of the kingdom.

15. These are the persons who have had the direction of it from that time down, Kamehameha II, Kaahumanu I, and at the present time Kamehameha III. These persons have had the direction of the kingdom down to the present time, and all documents written by them, and no others are the documents of the kingdom.

16. The kingdom is permanently confirmed to Kamehameha III, and his heirs, and his heir shall be the person whom he and the chiefs shall appoint, during his lifetime,4 but should there be no appointment, then the decision shall rest with the chiefs and House of Representatives.


Section three describes the history of The Kingdom of Hawai’i from King Kamehameha I to, what was then present time, King Kamehameha III. Outlines the property of land and states that if the bloodline of the king should be no more, the appointing of king will be left to the Chiefs and House of Representatives.

Section 4: Prerogatives of the King

Original Text

17. Na Pono o ke Alii nui.

Eia hoi ko ke alii nui wahi. Oia ka mea maluna o na kanaka a pau, a me na'lii a pau. Nona no ke aupuni. Ia ia na koa, a me na mea kaua o ke aupuni, na pu, na pa kaua, a me na mea kaua a pau. Ia ia ka waiwai o ke aupuni, ke kala o ke kino, ka auhau o ka aina, a me na la hana ekolu o ka malama, e like nae me ka olelo o ke kanawai. Nona no kona mau aina ponoi, a me na aina hemo i ka makahiki.

18. Oia ka mea nui o na lunakanawai kiekie, a ia ia no ka hooko i na kanawai o ka aina, a me na olelo kupaa, a me na kuikahi o ko na aina e, e like hoi me ka olelo o koonei kanawai.

19. Nana no e hana i na kuikahi me na'lii o na aupuni e a pau, a oia ka mea olelo pu me na lunakiekie i hoounaia mai, mai na aina e mai, a nana no e hooholo i ka olelo.

20. Nana no ka olelo o ke kaua, ke hiki i ka manawa pilikia, a pono ole i na'lii a pau ke akoakoa mai, a oia hoi ka alihikaua. Nana no hoi na olelo nui a pau o ke aupuni, ke haawi ole ia kela olelo ia hai ma ke kanawai.



The prerogatives of the King are as follows: He is the sovereign of all the people and all the chiefs. The kingdom is his. He shall have the direction of the army and all the implements of war of the kingdom. He also shall have the direction of the government property - the poll tax - the land tax - the three days monthly labor, though in conformity to the laws. He also shall retain his own private lands, and lands forfeited for the nonpayment of taxes shall revert to him.

18. He shall be the chief judge of the Supreme Court, and it shall be his duty to execute the laws of the land, also all decrees and treaties with other countries, all however in accordance with the laws.

19. It shall also be his prerogative to form treaties with the rulers of all other kingdoms, also to receive ministers sent by other countries, and he shall have power to confirm agreements with them.

20. He shall also have power to make war in time of emergency, when the chiefs cannot be assembled, and he shall be the commander in chief. He shall also have power to transact all important business of the kingdom which is not by law assigned to others.


Section four depicts the power of the king. The King is the Head Judge of the Supreme Court, is responsible for all treaties and/or trades with a foreign kingdom. Also, very importantly, the king must also execute the law and any job not given to others will belong to the king.

Section 5: Respecting the Premier of the Kingdom

Original Text

21. No ke Kuhina nui o ke Aupuni.

He mea pono i ke alii nui ke koho i kekahi alii akamai, i alii nui hoi, a e lilo oia i kanaka ponoi nona, a e kapaia oia ke kuhina nui o ke aupuni. A e like no kona noho ana a me kana hana me ka Kaahumanu I, a me ka Kaahumanu II. No ka mea i ka wa e ola ana o Kamehameha I, ia Kaahumanu no ke ola a me ka make, ka hewa, a me ka pono. A i kona wa i make ai, kauoha mai oia "No Liholiho ke aupuni, a o Kaahumanu ke kanaka." A o kela pono a Kamehameha I, i imi ai i kuhina, e hoomauia kela pono ma Hawaii nei, e like nae me ka olelo o ke kanawai.

22. Eia ka hana a ke Kuhina nui. O na mea i pili i ke aupuni a ke alii e manao ai e hana, na ke Kuhina no e hana ma ka inoa o ke alii; a o na olelo, a me na hana o ke aupuni a ke Kuhina e hana'i, na ke alii ia olelo a me ia hana. E ike no hoi oia i ka waiwai a pau o ke aupuni, a nana no e haawi i ke alii nui. O ke Kuhina nui ka mea olelo pu me ke alii ma na mea nui o ke aupuni. Aole hoi e hana wale ke alii me ka lohe ole o ke Kuhina, aole hana wale ke Kuhina me ka lohe ole o ke alii; a ina hoole ke alii i kana, o ka ole no ia. A o na hana nui a pau a ke alii e manao ai nana ponoi e hana, e hana no oia, me ka lohe nae o ke Kuhina.



It shall be the duty of the King to appoint some chief of rank and ability, to be his particular minister, whose title shall be Premier of the Kingdom. His office and business shall be the same as that of Kaʻahumanu I and Kaʻahumanu II. For even in the time of Kamehameha I, life and death, condemnation and acquittal were in the hands of Kaʻahumanu. When Kamehameha I died his will was, "The kingdom is Liholiho's, and Kaʻahumanu is his minister." That important feature of the government, originated by Kamehameha I, shall be perpetuated in these Hawaiian Islands, but shall always be in subserviency to the law.

22. The following are the duties of the Premier. All business connected with the special interests of the kingdom, which the King wishes to transact, shall be done by the Premier under the authority of the King. All documents and business of the kingdom executed by the Premier, shall be considered as executed by the King's authority. All government property shall be reported to him (or her) and he (or she) shall make it over to the King.

22a. The Premier shall be the King's special counsellor in the great business of the kingdom.

22b. The King shall not act without the knowledge of the Premier, nor shall the Premier act without the knowledge of the King, and the veto of the King on the acts of the Premier shall arrest the business. All important business of the kingdom which the King chooses to transact in person, he may do it but not without the approbation of the Premier.5


Section five of the Constitution depicts the duties of a Premier (not a king). The Premier is equivalent to the Vice-president of our present time U.S. Government. Important to note that a Premier can be a woman and not just limited to men.

Section 6: Governors

Original Text

23. Na Kiaaina.

Eha no Kiaaina ma Hawaii nei. No Hawaii kekahi. No Maui a me na moku e pili ana kekahi, no Oahu kekahi, a no Kauai a me na moku e pili ana kekahi. Malalo o ke alii nui ka noho ana o na Kiaaina a pau mai Hawaii a Kauai. Eia hoi ke ano o ko ke Kiaaina noho ana, a me kana hana hoi.

24. E noho luna no oia maluna o na luna auhau a pau o kona moku, a nana no e hooko i ka lakou olelo a pau, ke ike oia he pono, e hooko nae e like me ka olelo o ke kanawai, aole ma kona manao wale. Oia hoi ka luna maluna o na lunakanawai a pau o kona moku, a nana no e hooko i ka lakou olelo, e like me ka olelo maluna. Nana no e koho i na Lunakanawai, a haawi ia lakou i ka palapala hoolilo.

25. O ke Kiaaina, oia ke alii nui o kona moku, a o kona mau moku paha. Ia ia hoi na mea kaua o ka moku. Ia ia na pakaua, a me na koa, a me na pu, a me na mea kaua a pau. Malalo o ke alii nui laua o ke Kuhina nui ka noho ana o na kiaaina a pau, mai Hawaii a Kauai. Ia ia ka waiwai auhau o ka moku, a nana no e haawi i ke Kuhina nui. Ia ia no hoi ka olelo i ka manawa pilikia, ke ole ke alii nui, a o ke Kuhina nui paha. Ia ia no hoi ka ke alii hana a pau o ka moku, ka auhau, a me na hana hou, a me na mea e waiwai ai, a e noho no na luna a pau malalo ona. Ia ia hoi na olelo, a me na hana a pau o ka moku i haawi ole ia ia hai ma ke kanawai.

26. I ka manawa e make ai ke Kiaaina, alaila, e akoakoa na'lii a pau, i kahi a ke alii nui e olelo ai, a e imi pu lakou i hope no ke Kiaaina i make, a o ka mea a lakou e koho like ai, a ae ke alii nui ma ka palapala, oia ke Kiaaina hou.



There shall be four governors over these Hawaiian Islands - one for Hawaiʻi - one for Maui and the Islands adjacent - one for Oʻahu, and one for Kauaʻi and the adjacent Islands. All the governors, from Hawaiʻi to Kauaʻi shall be subject to the King.

24. The prerogatives of the governors and their duties, shall be as follows: Each governor shall have the general direction of the several tax gatherers of his island, and shall support them in the execution of all their orders which he considers to have been properly given, but shall pursue a course according to law, and not according to his own private views. He also shall preside over all the judges of his island, and shall see their sentences executed as above. He shall also appoint the judges and give them their certificates of office.

25. All the governors, from Hawaiʻi to Kauaʻi shall be subject not only to the King, but also to the Premier.

25a. The governor shall be the superior over his particular island or islands. He shall have charge of the munitions of war, under the direction of the King, however, and the Premier. He shall have charge of the forts, the soldiery, the arms and all the implements of war. He shall receive the government dues and shall deliver over the same to the Premier. All important decisions rest with him in times of emergency, unless the King or Premier be present. He shall have charge of all the King's business on the island, the taxation, new improvements to be extended, and plans for the increase of wealth, and all officers shall be subject to him. He shall also have power to decide all questions, and transact all island business which is not by law assigned to others.6

26. When either of the governors shall decease, then all the chiefs shall assemble at such place as the King shall appoint, and shall nominate a successor of the deceased governor, and whosoever they shall nominate and be approved by the King, he shall be the new governor.


Section six describes the duties of the Governors. Law states that there will be four Governors from each Islands of Hawai’i; they will be in charge of there corresponding Island and report directly to King and/or Premier. If Governor becomes deceased, Chiefs shall gather where the king orders and shall vote on a new Governor.

Section 7: House of Nobles

Original Text

27. No na'lii malalo o ke Alii nui.

I ka ahaolelo ana a na'lii, eia ka poe olelo i keia manawa, o Kamehameha III, o Kekauluohi, o Hoapili wahine, o Kuakini, o Kekauonohi, o Kahekili, o Paki, o Konia, o Keohokalole, o Leleiohoku, o Kekuanaoa, o Kealiiahonui, o Kanaina, o Ii, o Keoniana, a me Haalilio, a ina komo ka mea hou na ke kanawai e hoakaka ia. Na lakou nei kekahi olelo o ke aupuni. Aka, ina manao lakou e komo wale mai kekahi mea e ae e olelo pu, pono no. O keia poe nae ka poe hooholo i ka olelo. Aole e hana ia kekahi kanawai no ka aina me ko lakou lohe ole.

28. Penei hoi ka lakou hana ana. E akoakoa lakou i kela makahiki i keia makahiki, e imi i na mea e pono ai ka aina, i kanawai hoi no ke aupuni. I ka malama o Aperila e akoakoa'i, i ka la, a i kahi a ke alii nui e olelo ai.

29. He mea pono no hoi i ke alii nui ke olelo pu me lakou nei ma na mea nui a pau o ke aupuni, i mea e kuikahi ai, a i mea hoi e pono ai. A e hana no hoi lakou i na hana a pau a ke alii nui e haawi ai ia lakou.

30. No lakou hoi ko lakou mau aina ponoi, ina he moku, oia, ina he kalana, oia no, a ina he mea e, oia no hoi; a e hana no lakou ma ko lakou aina e like me ko lakou manao, aole nae e ku e i ke kanawai o ke aupuni.



At the present period, these are the persons who shall sit in the government councils, Kamehameha III, Kekauluohi, Hoapiliwahine, Kuakini, Kekauonohi, Kahekili, Paki, Konia, Keohokālole, Leleiohoku, Kekuanaoa, Kealiiahonui, Kanaina, Keoni Ii, Keoni Ana and Haalilio. Should any other person be received into the council, it shall be made known by law. These persons shall have part in the councils of the kingdom. No law of the nation shall be passed without their assent. They shall act in the following manner: They shall assemble annually, for the purpose of seeking the welfare of the nation, and establishing laws for the kingdom. Their meetings shall commence in April, at such day and place as the King shall appoint.7

29. It shall also be proper for the King to consult with the above persons respecting all the great concerns of the kingdom, in order to promote unanimity and secure the greatest good. They shall moreover transact such other business as the King shall commit to them.

30. They shall still retain their own appropriate lands, whether districts or plantations, or whatever divisions they may be, and they may conduct the business on said lands at their discretion, but not at variance with the laws of the kingdom.


Section seven portrays the body of Government titled House of Nobles. Their duties will be to vote on Laws, work on Kingdom economy, and be advisors to the king.

Section 8: Respecting the Representative Body

Original Text

31. No ka Poe i Kohoia.

I kela makahiki i keia makahiki e kohoia kekahi mau kanaka e ahaolelo pu me na'lii, a e imi pu i kanawai no ka aina. No Hawaii kekahi, a no Maui kekahi, a no Oahu kekahi, a no Kauai kekahi. Na na makaainana e koho, e like me ko lakou makemake. E hoakaka no ke kanawai i ke ano o ke koho ana a me ka nui o ka poe e kohoia'i. Na keia poe i kohoia kekahi olelo o ke aupuni. Aole kanawai e kauia ke ae ole ka nui o lakou.



There shall be annually chosen certain persons to sit in council with the nobles and establish laws for the nation. They shall be chosen by the people, according to their wish, from Hawaiʻi, Maui, Oʻahu and Kauaʻi. The law shall decide the form of choosing them, and also the number to be chosen. This representative body shall have a voice in the business of the kingdom. No law shall be passed without the approbation of a majority of them.


Section eight gives the power of voting for a representative of the people from each Island to sit and vote with the Nobles.

Section 9: Respecting the Meetings of the Legislative Body

Original Text

32. No ka Halawai ana o ka Poe Hana Kanawai.

Hookahi no halawai ana o ka makahiki, e like me ka olelo maluna. Aka, ina e manao na'lii e halawai e i kekahi manawa, e halawai no, e like me ko lakou manao.

33. I ka akoakoa ana, pono e kaawale na'lii maoli, a me ka poe i kohoia. Aka, ina manao lakou e olelo pu i kekahi manawa, aia no e like me ko lakou manao.

34. Penei hoi lakou e hana'i: E koho na'lii maoli i kakauolelo na lakou, a i ka la e akoakoa'i, nana no e kakau i ka lakou olelo a pau, o na olelo hoi i hooholoia, a e malama mau loa ia kela buke i ole ai e nalowale na olelo a lakou e imi ai no ke aupuni. Pela no hoi ka poe i kohoia: E koho no lakou i kakauolelo na lakou, a i ko lakou la e akoakoa'i e imi ka pono no ke aupuni, a holo kekahi olelo ia lakou, alaila e kakauia kela olelo iloko o kekahi buke, a e malama loa ia buke i mea e nalowale ole ai na pono i imiia no ke aupuni. Aole hoi e kauia kekahi kanawai hou ke ae ole ka nui o na'lii maoli, a me ka poe i kohoia.

35. A ina holo kekahi olelo ia lakou, alaila e laweia kela olelo ma ka pepa, a i ke alii nui, a ina i pono i kona manao, a kakauia kona inoa malalo, a me ko ke Kuhina nui, alaila lilo ia i kanawai no ke aupuni. Aole hoi e noa ia kanawai, a na ka poe nana i kau e hoonoa.



There shall be an annual meeting as stated above; but if the rulers think it desirable to meet again they may do it at their discretion.

33. When they assemble, the nobles shall meet by themselves and the representative body by themselves, though at such times as they shall think it necessary to consult together, they may unite at their discretion.

34. The form of doing business shall be as follows: The nobles shall appoint a secretary for themselves who at the meetings shall record all decisions made by them, and that book of records shall be preserved in order that no decrees affecting the interests of the kingdom may be lost.

34a. The same shall be done by the representative body. They too shall choose a secretary for themselves, and when they meet for the purpose of seeking the interests of the kingdom, and shall come to a decision on any point, then that decision shall be recorded in a book, and the book shall be preserved, in order that nothing valuable, affecting the interests of the kingdom should be lost; and there shall no new law be made, without the approbation of a majority of the nobles and also a majority of the representative body.8

35. When any act shall have been agreed upon by them, it shall then be presented to the King, and if he approve and sign his name, and also the Premier, then it shall become a law of the kingdom, and that law shall not be repealed until it is done by the voice of those who established it.


Section nine depicts the rules and guidelines for the Annual meeting of the House of Nobles, and House of Representatives.

Section 10: Respecting the Tax Officers

Original Text

36. No na Lunaauhau.

Na ke alii laua o kona Kuhina nui e koho i mau luna auhau, a e haawi ia lakou i palapala hoolilo. Okoa na lunaauhau o kekahi moku, okoa na lunaauhau o kekahi moku. Ina ekolu luna o ka moku hookahi, oia no. Ina i oi aku a emi mai paha, aia no i ka manao o ke alii, laua o ke Kuhina nui.

37. A loaa i kekahi luna ka palapala hoolilo, alaila, aole ia e hemo me ka hookolokolo ole ia mamua; a maopopo kona hewa, alaila, hemo. Aka, ina i hai mua ia ma ke kanawai na makahiki o ko lakou noho luna ana, pono no ia.

38. Eia ka hana maopopo a na lunaauhau. Na lakou e hoike aku i na kanaka a pau i ka nui o ka hookupu, i lohe mua ia i ka manawa pono. E hoike aku na luna e like me ka olelo a na'lii kiaaina, e like hoi me ka olelo o ke kanawai. A hiki i ka manawa e hookupu ai, na lakou no e hoiliili i ka waiwai, a haawi i ke kiaaina, a na ke kiaaina e haawi aku i ke Kuhina nui, a na ke Kuhina nui aku, a i ke alii nui. E malama no hoi na lunaauhau i ka paahao o ke alii, a ina manao lakou e haawi i na konohiki e hana, pono loa ia, e noho nae na luna maluna o na konohiki ma ia hana. E malama no hoi na lunaauhau i na hana hou a ke alii e manao ai e hoolaha ae maluna o ke aupuni. E hana nae lakou malalo o na kiaaina.

39. Aia no i na lunaauhau ka olelo no ke kanawai auhau. Ia lakou na olelo a pau no ka hookaumaha ana o na konohiki a me na hakuaina, i na makaainana, a me na hihia a pau iwaena o na konohiki, a me na hoaaina, a me na mea a pau i oleloia iloko o ke kanawai auhau i kauia i ka malama o Iune, i ka la ehiku i ka makahiki o ka Haku, 1839.

40. Penei hoi ka lakou hana ana: E hana no kela lunaauhau keia lunaauhau ma kona wahi iho. Ina ku ka hihia mawaena o na konohiki a me na hoaaina, na ka lunaauhau e hookolokolo, a i hewa ka hoaaina na ka luna a me ke konohiki e hooko i ke kanawai maluna ona. Aka, ina i hewa ke konohiki i ko ka luna manao, alaila e kii aku ka luna i na lunaauhau a pau o ia moku, a ina i like ko lakou manao a pau, alaila, ua hewa ke konohiki, a na ke kiaaina e hooko i ke kanawai maluna ona. Aka i na hookolokolo ana a pau, ina manao kekahi ua hewa ka na luna hana ana, pono e hoike aku i ke Kiaaina, a nana e hookolokolo hou. A ina e manaoia ua hewa ka ke Kiaaina hana ana, e hoikeia'ku ia i na lunakanawai kiekie, a na lakou e hookolokolo hou.



The King and Premier shall appoint tax officers, and give them their certificates of office. There shall be distinct tax officers for each of the islands, at the discretion of the King and Premier.

37. When a tax officer has received his certificate of appointment, he shall not be dismissed from office without first having a formal trial, and having been convicted of fault, at which time he shall be dismissed. Though if the law should prescribe a given number of years as the term of office, it may be done.

38. The following are the established duties of the tax officers. They shall assess the taxes and give notice of the amount to all the people, that they may understand in suitable time. The tax officers shall make the assessment in subserviency to the orders of the governors, and in accordance with the requirements of the law. And when the taxes are to be gathered, they shall gather them and deliver the property to the governor, and the governor shall pay it over to the Premier, and the Premier shall deliver it to the King.

38a. The tax officers shall also have charge of the public labor done for the King, though if they see proper to commit it to the land agents it is well, but the tax officers being above the land agents shall be accountable for the work. They shall also have charge of all new business which the King shall wish to extend through the kingdom. In all business however they shall be subject to the governor.9

39. The tax officers shall be the judges in all cases arising under the tax law. In all cases where land agents or landlords are charged with oppressing the lower classes, and also in all cases of difficulty between land agents and tenants, the tax officers shall be the judges, and also all cases arising under the tax law enacted on the 7th of June, <in the year of our Lord> 1839.

40. They shall moreover perform their duties in the following manner: Each tax officer shall be confined in his authority to his own appropriate district. If a difficulty arises between a land agent and his tenant, the tax officer shall try the case and if the tenant be found guilty, then the tax officer, in connection with the land agent shall execute the law upon him. But if the tax officer judge the land agent to be in fault, then he shall notify all the tax officers of his particular island, and if they are agreed, they shall pass sentence on him and the governor shall execute it. But in all trials, if any individual take exception to the decision of the tax officer, he may appeal to the governor who shall have power to try the case again, and if exceptions are taken to the decision of the governor, on information given to the Supreme Judges, there shall be a new and final trial before them.


Section ten states that King and Premier shall appoint a Tax Officer. The duties of this Tax Officer are as follows; Keep count of people and amount of taxation, report directly to King or Premier, and will be judges on any trial dealing with taxation.

Section 11: Of the Judges

Original Text

41. No na Lunakanawai.

E koho no kela Kiaaina keia Kiaaina i mau Lunakanawai no ka moku, e like me kona manao, ina elua oia, a ina i nui aku, oia no, e like hoi me kona manao, a e haawi no hoi oia ia lakou i palapala hoolilo. A loaa ia lakou ia, aole lakou e hemo me ka hookolokolo ole, aka ina hoakaka ke kanawai i na makahiki o ko lakou noho lunakanawai ana, ua pono ia.

42. Penei hoi lakou e hana'i: E hai mua ia na la hookolokolo. A hiki i ka la i oleloia, alaila, e hookolokolo lakou e like me ka olelo o ke kanawai. Eia na kanawai i haawiia ia lakou, o na kanawai a pau loa i pili ole i ka auhau, a me na hihia iwaena o na konohiki a me na hakuaina a me na hoaaina. O ke Kiaaina hoi ko lakou kokua nana e hooko i ka lakou olelo. Aka, ina i manaoia ua hewa ka lakou hana ana, o ka mea manao pela, pono no ia ia e hoopii i na Lunakanawai Kiekie.



Each of the governors shall at his discretion, appoint judges for his particular island, two or more as he shall think expedient, and shall give them certificates of office. After having received their certificates, they shall not be turned out, except by impeachment, though it shall be proper at any time for the law to limit the term of office.

42. They shall act in the following manner: They shall give notice before hand of the days on which courts are to be held. When the time specified arrives, they shall then enter on the trials according as the law shall direct. They shall be the judges in cases arising under all the laws excepting those which regard taxation, or difficulties between land agents, or landlords and their tenants. They shall be sustained by the governor, whose duty it shall be to execute the law according to their decisions. But if exceptions are taken to their judgment, whosoever takes them may appeal to the Supreme Judges


Section eleven describes the rules and guidelines for Judges. Judges decide days in which to have court, will give verdict to Governor to execute, and people have the right to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Section 12: Of the Supreme Judges

Original Text

43. No na Lunakanawai Kiekie.

O ka poe i kohoia, e koho lakou i mau luna eha, e kokua i ke alii nui, laua o kona Kuhina nui. A o keia poe eono, o lakou na lunakanawai kiekie no ke aupuni.

44. Eia ka lakou hana, o na hihia pono ole i na lunaauhau a me na lunakanawai, na lakou e hookolokolo hou e like me ka olelo o ke kanawai. E hai mua ia no hoi na la hookolokolo i mea e hiki ai ka poe pilikia ke hoopii. A o ka olelo a keia poe, ua ko. Aohe olelo i koe mahope o ka lakou. O ke ola, a me ka make, o ka hoopaa, a me ka wehe, o ka uku a me ka uku ole, aia no ia lakou ia, a ia lakou ua pau ka olelo ana.



The representative body shall appoint four persons whose duty it shall be to aid the King and Premier, and these six persons shall constitute the Supreme Court of the kingdom.

44. Their business shall be to settle all cases of difficulty which are left unsettled by the tax officers and common judges. They shall give a new trial according to the conditions of the law. They shall give previous notice of the time for holding courts, in order that those who are in difficulty may appeal. The decision of these shall be final. There shall be no further trial after theirs. Life, death, confinement, fine and freedom, from it, are all in their hands, and their decisions are final.


Section twelve depicts the duties of a Supreme Court Judge. The Supreme Court will consist of King, Premier, and four representative appointed by House of Representatives.

Section 13: Of Changes in this Constitution

Original Text

45. No ka Hoololi hou ana i keia Kumu Kanawai.

Aole e manaoia ua paa loa keia olelo, a lohe na kanaka a pau mai o a o, a kohoia kekahi mau mea e like me ka olelo maloko, a ae lakou alaila, ua paa loa keia Kumu Kanawai.

46. A mahope aku, ina e manaoia e hoololi hou, E hai muaia a lohe na kanaka a pau i ke ano o kela olelo hou i manaoia e hookomo, a ia makahiki iho i ka halawai ana o na'lii, a me ka poe i kohoia, ina i manao like lakou e hookomo hou i kekahi olelo, a e hoole i kekahi olelo paha, pono no ia hana ana.

47. O keia olelo i oleloia maluna, ua hooholoia i na'lii, a ua kauia ko maua inoa, i keia la 8 o Okatoba, i ka makahiki o ka Haku, 1840, ma Honolulu, Oahu.





This Constitution shall not be considered as finally established, until the people have generally heard it and have appointed persons according to the provisions herein made, and they have given their assent, then this Constitution shall be considered as permanently established.

46. But hereafter, if it should be thought desirable to change it, notice shall be previously given, that all the people may understand the nature of the proposed change, and the succeeding year, at the meeting of the nobles and the representative body, if they shall agree as to the addition proposed or as to the alteration, then they may make it.

47. The above constitution has been agreed to by the nobles, and we have hereunto subscribed our names, this eighth day of October, in the year of our Lord 1840, at Honolulu, Oʻahu.




Section thirteen gives the House of Nobles and the House of Representative the ability to change the Constitution.


  1. ^ Richard H. Kosaki (1978). "Constitutions and Constitutional Conventions of Hawaii". Hawaiian Journal of History (Hawaii Historical Society) 12: pp. 120–138. hdl:10524/196. 
  • Daws, Gavan (1974), Shoal of Time: A History of the Hawaiian Islands (Paperback ed.), University of Hawaii Press, ISBN 0-8248-0324-8 .
  • Cachola, Jean Iwata; Burningham, Robin Yoko (1995), Kamehameha III: Kauikeaouli, Kamehameha Schools Press, ISBN 0-87336-033-8 .

External links

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