In a lawsuit filed last week to stop Maui Lani Partners from excavating any more sand–and potentially disturbing the Kakanilua battlefield, which took place in Central Maui’s sand hills–Judge Joseph Cardoza has granted a 10-day stay, stopping all sand-removal activities by Maui Lani Partners.
“IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that for a period of ten days, beginning with the day and time upon which this order is entered, defendants MAUI LANI PARTNERS, a domestic partnership, and its agents, employees, and all persons acting under, in concert with, or for them to refrain from any further sand mining, grading or excavation at lands located in the Maui Lani Project District in the ahupua`a of Wailuku, Central Maui,” states the order.
Cardoza listed four reasons for his decision:
1. Plaintiffs are likely to prevail on at least one of their claims.
2. Plaintiffs will suffer “irreparable injury” should sand mining continue.
3. Maui Lani Partners is already subject to a county warning on sand mining.
4. “The public interest will be served by the entry of this stay order.”
Mālama Kakanilua and group members Clare H. Apana and Kaniloa Kamaunu–represented by attorney Lance Collins–filed the suit against Maui Lani Partners in Maui Environmental Court back on July 28.
“It has been over ten years, we have been asking Maui Lani Partners and state entities to protect the ‘iwi kupuna, these ancient burials of the sandhills of Maui,” said Apana, a cultural practitioner and founding member of Mālama Kakanilua, in a July 28 news release from Collins.
Maui Lani Partners officials insisted in this July 29 The Maui News story that they haven’t removed any materials since May 1.
“Contractor HC&D and Maui Lani Partners stopped moving and transporting sand May 1 after receiving a county notice to correct violations,” The Maui News reported. “The county says that the developer’s grading permit was not in dispute, but that the excavation and exportation of high-quality sand for concrete and other uses meet the definition of ‘resource extraction,’ which requires other permits.”
The next hearing on the matter will be 8am on Friday, Aug. 11.
Click here for a PDF of Cardoza’s order.