Kailua Target development could be moving forward

Delay over ancient bones lifted

 UPDATED 8:21 AM HST Aug 09, 2012
Major projects on hold to preserve ancient bones
HONOLULU -

"The stress of not being able to meet since the beginning of the year had people in limbo," said Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu.

The Oahu Burial Council Chair says the council is back in business, for their second meeting, after a five month hiatus.

The council meets over what to do about Hawaiian burial sites unearthed by development.

Just a few of the big projects affected: Target in Kailua, The International Marketplace in Waikiki, and the Rail Transit project.

"It's not if they're going to be found, it's when they're going to be found," she said.

Developers had hoped Target Kailua would open by this July, but construction hasn't even started yet.

A big part of the problem: waiting for permits and clearance - including for preserving burial remains.

"We've met some excellent examples of people who are trying to be up and up," said Wong-Kalu.

She said Target Kailua developers have decided to use the original foundation from the old Don Quijote so as not to disturb iwi.

As for the parking lot:

"Currently, they are working on reburying these iwi and they will be maintained in place," she said.

In another development project, the Queen Emma Land Company wants to give the entire Waikiki International Marketplace a facelift.

Developers and decendents have come up with another idea for iwi kapuna:

"It's essentially a space in their mixed use complex," said Wong-Kalu.

It would be a burial site built into the new design.

Wong-Kalu said they're still waiting to discuss rail transit.

She hopes engineers will also include a home for iwi kapuna in the initial design for each station.

"So hopefully, it wouldn't be an afterthought," she said.

Meeting a quorum, which means a fair number of large-landowners must be in attendence at burial council meetings, has been a big problem - and not just on Oahu.

Molokai's council hasn't been able to meet since April 2008.

Wong-Kalu said she plans to address lawmakers this coming legislative session to try and change that requirement.
 

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