Friday, August 14, 2009

Updates on Key Failures for the Protection of Our Iwi

This is an update on 3 key failures (but many more exist!) of the "system" in protecting our iwi kupuna. Mahalo to Alan Murakami of NHLC for the info.

The situation worsens by the day....

* The central story in Naue is that the SHPD is allowing Brescia
to build his house over an ancient Hawaiian cemetery without proper
prior approval of a burial treatment plan that reflects the will of the
island burial council to preserve those iwi kupuna in place. If
allowed, the SHPD will in effect reverse the island burial council's
preservation determination by treating a house over a cemetery as a
preservation measure. The judge refused to recognize the construction
as an alteration of a burial site.
* In the Wal Mart case, the city permitting agency refused to seek
expert archaeological opinion at critical time in the permitting process
before approval of the permits to build a major store over iwi kupuna on
the property, which would have been identified if the SHPD had required
a prior archaeological inventory survey. Ultimately, whereas no iwi
kupuna were thought to be present on the property when construction
began, contractor encountered 64 burials which had to be dug up to make
room for the store. The judge refused to stop construction despite the
flawed process followed.
* In the Ward Village Shops case, initial archaeological work
identified only 11 iwi kupuna on the project site. Without the SHPD
demanding timely and more comprehensive archaeological testing to
determine whether more burials were present, construction activity
ultimately uncovered 62 burials discovered much later than they should
have been. Then the judge refused to stop work despite the obvious flaw
in the SHPD review.

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