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Hawaii News

Maui developer ordered to temporarily stop work

WAILUKU >> A judge has temporarily stopped work on a Maui housing development following a complaint that the project disturbed Native Hawaiian burial sites.

Judge Joseph Cardoza granted the preliminary injunction Friday, with both sides agreeing to meet to propose additional protections for the burial sites near the Maui Lani development in Kahului, The Maui News reported.

Jennifer Noelani Ahia had filed the complaint in February against the state, Maui County and the landowner, claiming about 180 burials were disturbed. She claimed officials and the landowner knew about the burial sites but failed to protect them.

“My name is on the lawsuit as the plaintiff, but this is a group effort representing the lahui (people) who have been advocating to protect burials for years and years,” Ahia said. “This is the culmination of many years of hard work by many kupuna (elders) from this area.”

Landowner HBT is building the single-family residential development on about 45 acres. The project is being developed in four parts, with the first three nearly completed.

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