The Public Land Development Corporation abruptly canceled its first meeting on Monday because it violated the state Sunshine Law by failing to notify a local news organization of the meeting six days before it was to convene.

Environment Hawaii sent a letter to the Department of Land and Natural Resources requesting that it be notified of upcoming meetings, which was received by the chairman’s office on July 14, according to Guy Kaulukukui, deputy director at DLNR.

“Anybody that has requested to be notified in advance of a public hearing has to be notified at least six days ahead of the meeting even if we posted it. There’s a higher duty to notify them,” said Kaulukukui, who sits on the board of the new agency dedicated to forming public-private partnerships to develop state lands.

He said the letter from Environment Hawaii was then kicked up to the Land Division, which received it on July 15. But it never made it back down to the chairman’s office.

As a result, Environment Hawaii wasn’t contacted until Saturday, he said. Environment Hawaii said it only learned about the meeting “a few hours in advance of its scheduled start,” according to an email sent to Civil Beat.

DLNR canceled the meeting shortly before it was to start.

“One of the issues is that the Public Land Development Board hasn’t had it’s first meeting, so it hasn’t established a list of people that would be routinely notified in advance,” said Kaulukukui. “I think that once we have our first meeting we won’t have this glitch going forward.”

The new meeting is set for Monday, August 29, at 2:30 in the Kalanimoku Building, Room 132. The board is expected to discuss the status of hiring an executive director and possible rules.

The sequence of events is described by Environment Hawaii here.

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