Zuckerberg Drops Hawaii Lawsuits: 'We Made a Mistake'
He plans to work on 'better approach' with Kauai locals
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2017 6:21 AM CST
This Jan. 15, 2017photo shows public Pilaa Beach, center, below hillside and ridge top land owned by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, near Kilauea on the north shore of Kauai in Hawaii.   (Ron Kosen/photospectrumkauai.com via AP, file)

(Newser) – After disclosing that he was reconsidering the move, Mark Zuckerberg has completely dropped lawsuits intended to force Hawaiian locals to sell him land. Zuckerberg bought a 700-acre property on Kauai for $100 million in 2014 and had been using a process called "quiet title" to try to acquire "kuleana lands," within the property which gave their owners access rights. "We are dropping our quiet title actions and will work together with the community on a new approach," the Facebook CEO writes in Kauai's Garden Island newspaper. "We understand that for native Hawaiians, kuleana are sacred and the quiet title process can be difficult. We want to make this right, talk with the community, and find a better approach."

The lawsuits filed last month involve 14 small parcels of land, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reports. Zuckerberg says his land purchase prevents the property being split into 80 lots by a commercial developer, but admits that he didn't "take the time to fully understand the quiet title process and its history" before proceeding with legal action. "Now that I understand the issues better, it's clear we made a mistake," he writes. "The right path is to sit down and discuss how to best move forward. We will continue to speak with community leaders that represent different groups, including native Hawaiians and environmentalists, to find the best path."

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