Archeologists are currently surveying in Kakaako-- an area of known Hawaiian burial sites.
On Halekauwila Street, crews are digging through the layers of dirt, carefully scouring for any bones or other archeological finds.
"No particular finds as of this date. We found a lot of field deposits which we expected to find, but so far, there have been no outstanding archeological discoveries," said Matt McDermott, Cultural Surveys project manager.
That was the report to the Oahu Burial Council Wednesday, the first since the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled the archeological survey on the rail route shouldn’t be piecemealed.
The council made it clear, that it is not pro-rail or anti-rail, but pro-iwi.
"One of the greatest challenges is to reconcile when native and Hawaiian values and philosophy come into conflict with Western discipline and Western law and the Western legal system," said Chairwoman Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu.
But some questioned why the city doesn’t have a cultural monitoring system in place.
There is some community concern that when remains are discovered, that proper protocols are followed with a blessing by a cultural practitioner.
"We are doing what we can to make sure that the work crews and the work sites are being culturally sensitive, and aware and up to speed with the concerns that have been expressed," said Kaleo Patterson.
Paulette Kaleikini, who successfully sued the city to halt the construction work, said her family was ignored when they offered to help re-inturn any remains. She spoke out when the issue of paying ci;tural practioners was brought up at the council meeting.
"We do it for free. We do it out of concern for the iwi kupuna," said Kaleikini.
Legally, the city doesn’t have to have a cultural monitoring system in place,
but the state's own land board chair has first-hand experience.
"Cultural monitoring provides additional transparency between the developer or government and the community. And in the case of Waianae, I participated in it, and it worked out well," Aila said.
When asked if he would like to see it for rail, Aila said he thinks cultural monitoring is something every developer should consider.