Palauea

Makena Resort Developer’s Track Record: Palauea Update
by Rob Parsons

Jan 26 2002. Today I did a field trip to view the excavation and desecration at Palauea Mauka. With me were two activists who requested anonimity, both with cameras. The violations are numerous and obvious. For instance:

? Grading more than 15 acres all at once (grading ordinance)

? Raising the grade as much as 20 feet (not shown on final application)

? Final grading blueprint unsigned by Planning Director

? Kiawe cutting and grading in conservation/ archaeological area

? Using County potable water from hydrant on Old Makena Road (instead of reclaimed water, which is available in S. Maui) for water trucks to keep dust minimized

? Destroying ranching rock walls from 1800’s, which they stated would be left in situ and used as property lines.

? Roadway cut across bluff where fishing village site is currently being studied

? All natural drainage ways (except one) have been altered

We spent nearly 45 minutes speaking with the on-site archaeologists, who were wonderfully informative. They have found numerous artifacts, including a niho palaoa , a symbol of a chief or person of status, made of coral (in this case), often made of whale bone in post-contact Hawai`i. This could indicate religious significance to the area, in connection with the fishing ko`a nearby. They also found numerous fishhooks, and charcoal samplings being sent for carbon dating.

However, their data recovery, though of apparent great significance, will only continue one more week. Then, the entire knoll they are working on will be reconfigured for a ($7 million) house lot. Much of the entire acreage, after being denuded of all living trees and underbrush, has been covered with hundreds, if not thousands of truckloads of fill over the past two months. The views of Haleakala are virtually lost from Old Makena Road, which constitutes another violation.

It is conceivable that the committee overseeing the archaeological survey and findings could be persuaded to extend the research period. It is doubtful, however, that the developer would consent to not develop that lot, given the return it could bring. By the way, the sales representative said not a single lot has yet been sold.