'Ahu 'ula and haka of Pua's Tutu Man, Kalaniʻōpuʻu
Pua was born in Hilo, and raised in Waiohinu Kaʻu, Keaukaha Hilo, and Kaumana Hilo. He is a direct descendant of Kalaniʻōpuʻu (Aliʻi Nui, governing chief, of the Island of Hawaii, c. 1729-1783). He can trace his genealogy to the first inhabitants of Hawaiʻi who arrived in Ka Lae (South Point) Ka‘u. He comes from a long line of individuals who have acted to uplift the people and steward the ʻāina, a legacy and kuleana he embraces today.
Pua was raised by godly parents (Herbert & Mona) and taught by his mother and grandmothers to aloha ke Akua, be proud to be Hawaiian, aloha kānaka, and mālama the ʻāina. He graduated from DeSilva Elementary, Hilo Intermediate, and Hilo High School. During his intermediate and high school years he worked with his father who was an electrical contractor. After high school and a year of college he served a self-financed church mission to Chicago, Illinois. After serving an honorable two year mission he returned home and married his High school sweetheart Gloria Duvauchelle (KS 75) of Kauaʻi.
Pua and Gloria were soon blessed with 5-beautiful daughters, ʻAlohi, Kailani, Kauaʻi, Kanoe, and Kiana. During this period he was employed as an electrician and realtor associate. He also continued his higher education obtaining an Associate’s Degree in Electricity and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business and Economics. After creating and managing several successful businesses, including Physiques, the largest health and fitness center on Hawai‘i Island, Pua and Gloria decided to return to school.
They uprooted their young family and moved to Washington to attend Gonzaga University, a Jesuit school. Pua entered law school while Gloria entered a master’s program in psychology. After graduation, they returned to Hilo. Shortly after their return home, tragedy struck when Kailani, the 2nd oldest, passed away in a car accident. But, ke Akua is good, 9-months later, Pua and Gloria were blessed with their 6th child, Kāhili, their first and only son. During this period, Pua found his calling, believing our youth are our future, he decided to use his legal training to work with at-risk youth. The youth here were, predominately Hawaiian, many of which were involved in the legal system. Employment at this time included Hawai‘i County Corporation Counsel, State of Hawai‘i Department of Health, Big Island Substance Abuse Council, and Arcadia, a high risk youth residential program. He also followed his entrepreneurial spirit establishing and operating several small businesses.
As a child and youth Pua was taught to be pono (balanced, mentally, physically, and spiritually), this included giving back to the community. After returning from Washington, Pua continued to serve his community in various ways, such as continued activity in his local church congregation, Royal Order of Kamehameha, girls canoe coach, and creating and coordinating the annual Kamehameha Festival (a state-wide cultural event).
In the last seven years, Pua has focused on mālama ʻāina and land stewardship. He currently works as a Land Agent with the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and was previously employed by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) as Hawai‘i Island land manager. He is the CEO of Kūkulu Cultural Resources for Organizations and Black Koa Action-Wear Brand, two companies that he created in 2009 and 2014. Pua is also a Co-Founder of the Aloha ʻĀina Party, that became an official political party in Hawai‘i in 2020. The first Hawaiian Political Party in over 108 years. Pua, along with two friends (Don Kaulia and Desmon Haumea), established the party to benefit the Hawaiian Community and the State of Hawai‘i. All Founders are members of the Royal Order of Kamehameha.
Pua enjoys attending church, spending time with his family, learning and practicing the Hawaiian culture, and supporting and strengthening his community. Pua looks forward to use his education, knowledge, experience, and skill sets, to reform and optimize OHA. To help OHA be all it can be to more fully benefit the Hawaiian Community and the State of Hawai‘i.
FAITH, INTEGRITY, AND ALOHA.
Pua's ʻohana l-r: Kanoe, Gloria, Pua, Kāhili, Kiana, Kauaʻi, and ʻAlohi. Absent from photo is Pua's 2nd oldest daughter Kailani, who returned to ke Akua at the age of sixteen.