Family protests desecration of heiau on Maui - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Family protests desecration of heiau on Maui

Kaui Kahaialii Kaui Kahaialii

By Stephanie Lum - bio | email

MAUI (KHNL) - It's being called an act of desecration. A heiau on Maui was damaged, unintentionally by workers working on transmission lines for Maui Electric. Members of the Kahaialii family say they're upset and outraged that people would be so careless around such a sacred site.

"We're here to tell everybody the truth, the whole story and this is what happened," said Kaui Kahaialii.

The family says they were filming a documentary on Kuleana lands last week when they came upon a mess. Litter had filled the heiau, and two vehicles were parked near the site. After further examination, the family found that a fence enclosing it was broken down and that someone had even defecated on it.

Family members met with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, looking for some support.

"I think the message came across really really strong. I think after this OHA is going to step up and do the right thing," said Kahaialii.

A spokesperson for Maui Electric acknowledged the incident and confirmed that the work being done was by subcontractors. MECO has taken full responsibility for the incident and has placed an ad in the Maui News, apologizing.

The family says so far they aren't satisfied with the actions taken by Maui Electric.

The four subcontractors working at the site were fired. Maui Electric says it plans to provide additional cultural briefings to contract workers.

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