Maui Business

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg Reconsiders Kauaʻi Land Lawsuits

January 24, 2017, 5:29 PM HST
* Updated January 27, 4:54 AM
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PC: Mark Zuckerberg. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Originally posted on Flikr, Presidencia de la Republica Mexicana photostream (Sept. 2014)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he is reconsidering his actions involving quiet title cases on Kauaʻi after filing several lawsuits against kuleana land owners.

The initial filings occurred on Dec. 30, 2016 and were detailed in a story published by the Honolulu Star Advertiser last week Wednesday.

The story drew widespread media attention and comments in defense from Zuckerberg on his own Facebook page last week.

Today, Zuckerberg issued a new statement via Ben LaBolt at The Incite Agency, a communications firm on the mainland.  The statement reads as follows:

“Based on feedback from the local community, we are reconsidering the quiet title process and discussing how to move forward. We want to make sure we are following a process that protects the interests of property owners, respects the traditions of native Hawaiians, and preserves the environment.


We love Kauaʻi. We want to be good members of the community and preserve the land for generations to come.”


State Representative Kaniela Ing, who was among those who initially expressed displeasure with the lawsuits, released the following statement this afternoon on Zuckerberg’s reconsideration:

“I am heartened to hear that Mark Zuckerberg is reconsidering his lawsuits against the indigenous kuleana land owners.


This shows the power that everyday people wield when we band together to protect indigenous families and our ʻāina. The people’s voice can and will overcome big money and celebrity–even against the fifth richest man in the world.

Hawaiʻi has always been a welcoming place, but over time, we have learned what exploitation looks like. In his eagerness to join our island community, Zuckerberg may have overlooked the diligence needed to dutifully enculturate.

I mahalo Mark Zuckerberg for his words, but I will be seeing this case through to the end to make sure that his actions ultimately follow through.

In the meantime, let’s all maintain aloha and give him a chance to meet his promise to talk story, explain his intentions, and make right with the community. We will be here watching and willing to share our manaʻo.”

Ing said Zuckerberg can add substance to his words by officially dropping the lawsuits, donating to the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation o help protect native families from future Quiet Title actions, and joining stakeholders at the table to restart a positive dialogue as mutual stewards of the land and culture.

Kauaʻi Representative Nadine Nakamuara who represents the 14th District, which includes Hanalei, Princeville, Kilauea, Anahola, Kapaʻa and Wailua also released the following statement:

“I’m pleased to hear that Mr. Zuckerberg is reconsidering his quiet title lawsuits in Moloa’a, Kauai,” said Kauai Representative Nadine Nakamura, (14thDistrict – Hanalei, Princeville, Kilauea, Anahola, Kapaʻa, Wailua).

“The issue of kuleana lands is not something that is new and it is not just a Zuckerberg issue.  It is a complicated matter that has been around for a long time.  This gives us an opportunity now to have an open dialogue on the concerns and problems surrounding kuleana lands.

“I’m aware of at least two bills that will be before the State Legislature this session to address this. These two bills warrant further public dialogue to ensure a fair quiet title process for all parties.”

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