Summary of Native Hawaiian Burial Laws

Authored By: State of Hawaii State Historic Preservation


The law in Hawaii with respect to prehistoric and historic Native Hawaiian burials is primarily found in Chapter 6E, Hawaii Revised Statutes and Chapter 13-300, Hawaii Administrative Rules. The process set forth in the statutes and rules does not lend itself to summarization in a traditional western flowchart with orderly progressive steps, but instead contemplates a more collaborative process where the department, burial council, applicant, descendants, and Native Hawaiian groups interact regularly throughout the process with a goal of arriving at a result that is agreeable to all. This procedure is an attempt to combine a traditional Native Hawaiian dispute resolution process with a modern, western bureaucratic system in which each party has defined tasks and responsibilities.

This booklet provides an outline summarizing the law that directly relates to the burial councils as the law exists as of April 2009. Citations to the Hawaii Revised Statutes and Hawaii Administrative Rules are provided in the outline. Unofficial copies of the statutes and rules are included in this booklet for easy reference. 


Last Review and Update: Sep 21, 2018