Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan have nearly doubled their disputed lands in Hawaii after buying nearly 600 acres of Kauai from a nonprofit organization for $ 53 million.
The deal, which ended on March 19, according to cases first reported by Pacific Business News, includes three parcels, including the remote northern coastline known as Larsen Beach. The road to the beach was not included in the sale and the public still has access. Zuckerberg’s other property in Hawaii is also located on a public beach, but according to The Daily Beast, it is accessible by a maze.
The couple bought the property from a nonprofit organization called Waioli Corporation, dedicated to the preservation of historic landmarks and land, which was created by Wilcoxes, an old Hawaiian missionary family dating back to the 1
Known as “Lepeuli ahupua’a”, the property houses several “reef, marine, bird, flora and historical collections in their unaltered local habitats”, according to the Waioli Corporation website.
“We know that this land will remain in their trusted hands and that Mark and Priscilla will act as responsible governors of Lepeuli today and in the future,” said the president of Waioli Corp. Pratt himself in a statement to Pacific Business News.
But in the past, some Hawaiians have challenged Zuckerberg’s rule. After Facebook’s chief executive bought his first Hawaiian mansion in 2015 – a 700-acre property also on Kauai – he ran into problems with many families who owned smaller parcels in the complex. These residents were “Kamaain families” or Hawaiian descendants who had inherited the land without an official deed or will.
In response, Zuckerberg filed several lawsuits aimed at evicting families, forcing them to sell their land at public auction. He later dropped the lawsuit and apologized for publishing it in the island’s newspaper. But others later accused him of hiring a local professor named Carlos Andrade to continue the battle on his behalf, using a Zuckerberg-owned projectile corporation to file separate cases.
Zuckerberg denied involvement in Andrade’s case. A spokesman said Newsweek at the time, “Mark was not judging local Hawaiians and no one was forced to leave the country. In early 2017, Mark withdrew as a plaintiff from the lawsuit to clear the ownership of the land he bought in Kauai. “
Yet the legal saga outraged local Hawaiians and onlookers elsewhere. “This is the face of neocolonialism,” said Capua Sproat, a professor at the University of Hawaii The guardian at this time. Change.org’s petition, entitled “Stopping Mark Zuckerberg from Colonizing Kauai,” launched last summer, has garnered more than a million signatures so far.
In their latest purchase, Chan and Zuckerberg tried to emphasize that they have no current eviction plans. The land is currently leased to a ranch called Paradise Ranch.
“Wyolly is doing a major job of promoting the preservation and preservation of culture, and we remember their heritage with regard to this land,” Chan and Zuckerberg told The Daily Beast. “We are committed to complying with this lease agreement for Paradise Ranch and expanding the existing agricultural purpose.”
This material has been updated to include commentary by Chan and Zuckerberg’s spokesman.