- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 16, 2015

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - Protesters are saying developers of a 1,550-acre project are violating a court order that establishes the treatment of burial sites there.

State Department of Land and Natural Resources spokeswoman Deborah Ward says the department is looking into claims that the Hokulia development violated a 2006 settlement agreement, West Hawaii Today reported (https://bit.ly/1ffn1eb).

Descendants of the region gathered at the development gates Monday. They say contrary to the agreement, the developer doesn’t have an on-site archaeological monitor during construction, is using herbicides to maintain burials, and hasn’t consulted with descendants on how to treat the sites.

Requests for comment from Hokulia parent company SunChase Holdings Inc. and its president were not immediately returned.

Protest organizer LeeAnn Leslie says she wanted descendants and the community to know what’s happening at the development.

She said using herbicides can cause erosion at the burial sites, with new ones continuing to be discovered there.

“There are burial sites that have been under tarps for 13 years,” she said.

Protester Conrad Gomes said all of his children are from the region that includes the development.

“I’m here to protect their rights and their descendants and make sure they know how to stand up for their culture,” he said.

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Information from: West Hawaii Today, https://www.westhawaiitoday.com

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