Ashley Obrey

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What is a Ka Paʻakai analysis?

By Ashley K. Obrey, Senior Staff Attorney The “Ka Paʻakai” analysis is a legal framework that government agencies must follow when considering proposals that may impact the exercise of Native Hawaiian traditional and customary rights. Developed by the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court in Ka Paʻakai O Ka ʻĀina v. Land Use Comm’n, the three-part inquiry operationalizes constitutional protections for Native Hawaiian rights by requiring that state and county agencies conduct detailed investigations and make specific findings as to: The identity and scope of valued cultural historical, or natural resources in the…area, including the extent to which traditional customary native Hawaiian rights are ...

June 10, 2024|Categories: Access Rights, Ask NHLC, Traditional Practices|Tags: |

HI Supreme Court Concludes that State DOT, DHHL, and the Hawaiian Homes Commission Breached Trust Duties on Mauna Kea when DOT Seized Control of Access Road

DOT did not have the authority to unilaterally designate the [Mauna Kea Access Road] as a state highway. And although the record is unclear as to DHHL’s actions in 2018, it certainly should not have relinquished “control and jurisdiction” without consulting with the beneficiaries as required by 43 C.F.R. § 47. Such acquiescence deprived Native Hawaiian beneficiaries of income from and use of the land — an abandonment of mālama ‘āina, or care for the land. [Opinion at 41-42 (emphasis added)] On May 30, 2024, the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in favor of native Hawaiian beneficiaries ...

May 31, 2024|Categories: Access Rights, Hawaiian Home Lands, Mālama ʻĀina, Mauna Kea|Tags: |

Proposed Project Threatens Culturally, Ecologically Important Black Sands Beach

The Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation and the Center for Biological Diversity will appear before the Windward Planning Commission on Monday to urge commissioners to protect the natural resources, cultural practices and pristine landscape of the wahi pana of Punaluʻu, Kaʻū, from a 147-acre development.   The proposed Punaluʻu Village project would include 225 residential and vacation rental units, a retail and wellness center, and the rehabilitation of an existing golf course and tennis facilities. The resort would replace the now defunct Sea Mountain at Punaluʻu.   “Punaluʻu must be protected and we’ll fight this development tooth and nail,” said Maxx Phillips, Hawaiʻi ...

May 4, 2024|Categories: Access Rights, Mālama ʻĀina, NHLC News|Tags: |

NHLC Asks HI Supreme Court to Hold State Accountable to Trust Duties After Seizure of Hawaiian Home Lands Underlying Mauna Kea Access Road

By Senior Staff Attorney Ashley K. Obrey On December 14, 2023, the Hawai‘i Supreme Court held oral argument in Kanahele, et. al. v. State, et. al., SCAP-22-0000268, a breach of trust case against the state Department of Transportation (“DOT”) as well as the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the Hawaiian Homes Commission (hereinafter, collectively, “DHHL”) to ensure proper management of Hawaiian Home Lands trust lands underlying the Mauna Kea Access Road (“MKAR”). Prior to 2018, the 65 acres underlying the MKAR were recognized as a part of the Hawaiian Home Lands trust. The trust was created by the United ...

February 2, 2024|Categories: Hawaiian Home Lands, Mauna Kea|Tags: |

ICA Rules KUA & NHLC Can Continue Fight for Limu

Decision Honors Uncle Henry Chang’s Last Wishes To Protect Marine Resources in ‘Ewa In 2012, Uncle Henry Chang Wo, a recognized loea limu (limu expert), and the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation (NHLC) began a long—and still pending—legal battle against permitting to increase stormwater runoff from the Kaloʻi Gulch onto an ‘Ewa shoreline. Permit proponents, including the City and County of Honolulu, the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, and the University of Hawaii, want the permit, so that polluted storm water can be discharged from urban development. Uncle Henry argued that the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) needed to more ...

November 14, 2023|Categories: Mālama ʻĀina, Traditional Practices|Tags: , |
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