Ex-historic preservation head still at DLNR


HONOLULU (AP) — The former head of the State Historic Preservation Division, who resigned after the release of a critical federal report, has been working at the Department of Land and Natural Resources as a special assistant to the board chairman.

Pua Aiu resigned July 2 after National Park Service officials reported the division still had serious problems and retained its high-risk grantee status, meaning it could lose its federal funding if the problems aren’t fixed within a year.

Aiu did an excellent job as division administrator, something Board of Land and Natural Resources Chairman William Aila noted when she resigned, Deborah Ward, a spokeswoman for the resources department said.

“We felt it was important to retain her knowledge and skills, and critical to have her institutional memory for rail and other projects,” Ward said.

Aiu remains involved in a review of an archaeological inventory survey done for a Honolulu rail transit project, a process the state expects to wrap up soon, among other tasks. She earns between $70,000 and $90,000, which is paid from the preservation division’s budget, although the funding will eventually be switched to the Land Division Special Fund, Ward said.

Aiu, through Ward, declined to comment on the federal criticism and her ongoing employment by the department.

 

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