“Ground Truthing” Set to Begin Today at Maui Lani Phase 6 Development
Members of the group Mālama Kakanilua and other individuals that identify themselves as iwi protectors gathered in front of the Towne Realty Parkways Subdivision in Maui Lani this morning to voice their concerns regarding “ground truthing” at the site.
The process is described as one that investigates “anomalies” discovered, which members say could be iwi kūpuna or ancestral bones. The process was ordered by the courts and is scheduled to begin today.
Members of the group Mālama Kakanilua say they believe “this is putting the cart before the horse.”
In a statement today, the group said, “The questions now before the court involves whether a proper Archeological Inventory Survey (AIS) should be conducted prior to allowing any development or placement of sewage pipes in the ground in this parcel,” which the group says is “known to have a large concentration of burials.”
“Until these questions have been answered beyond the preliminary phase, no ground disturbing activities should be conducted before being properly and completely litigated and answered,” the group said.
A litigant in the case, Jennifer Noelani Ahia said, “Furthermore the Maui, Lana’i Island Burial Council has identified Maui Lani Phase 6 Increment 4 as a known burial area, a pāʻilina. Our iwi have the right to be at peace and as descendants, who inherit their collective mana, we have the right to protect our iwi and the ʻāina where they rest.”
Members of the group say “the purpose of the burial laws is to protect iwi kūpuna, not expedite development.”
Maui Now reached out to representatives with the Towne Realty Parkways Subdivision via phone. Chris Lau, an officer with the company said he was unaware of the press conference and said the company has no statement to offer at this time.
Maui Now also sought comment from DLNR this morning, and will post any response update upon receipt.
The full content of the group’s press conference is posted in the video above.