Sugimura to Propose Resolution Urging State to Protect Iwi Kupuna
Councilmember Yuki Lei Sugimura will introduce a resolution at the Maui County Council’s meeting on Friday, Dec. 1, urging the Governor and the State Legislature to mandate the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, to proactively administer the state statute relating to the preservation of historic properties and native Hawaiian burials.
Chapter 6E, Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes, mandates that at any site, other than an actively used cemetery, where human skeletal remains are discovered to be buried and appear to be over fifty years old, the remains and their associated burial goods shall not be moved without recommendation from the respective island Burial Council and approval of the DLNR.
“It has come to light during the Council’s deliberations on the bill declaring a moratorium on sand mining of central Maui inland sand that there may not be enough focus on enforcement of SHPD recommendations,” Sugimura said.
The proposed resolution urges timely review and ongoing oversight of archeological inventory surveys, archeological monitoring plans, and archeological preservation plans, including requiring site inspections during land alteration activities to ensure compliance.
“It is imperative that DOCARE proactively enforces against violations of HRS Chapter 6E, including violations related to failing to adhere to conditions set forth in approved monitoring and preservation plans,” she added.
All interested residents are encouraged to provide testimony at the council meeting or email written testimony to [email protected].