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Zuckerberg Controversy Here on Kauai Unabated

This week, more on the multi-year Facebook owner land controversy here on Kauai. Four small properties, located within Mark Zuckerberg’s Kauai mega-estate, and of limited financial value to anyone other than Zuckerberg, were sold to a retired UH professor for over $2M. That, in a bizarre bidding war against a group of (the professor’s) other family members.

To bring levity to an otherwise bad situation, we are reminded of Gilligan’s Island, which was filmed here on Kauai. Replete with the stranded professor and the millionaire (or this case, billionaire).  But if you think something is fishy beyond the Ahi in the waters,  read on.

Why did Mark Zuckerberg get involved in what appeared to be a local family dispute?

This started over two years ago when the UH professor, who is a member of the family of landowners, informed his relatives that he was going to sue them to obtain their land. In that effort, he was supported by what has since been referred to as a shell company controlled by Zuckerberg.

You’ll recall that Zuckerberg initially bought the property in 2014 for over $100M and that’s when all the trouble began. First to to erect an extremely unpopular and not Kauai-like wall surrounding the land and second to control the many small Kuleana lands contained within the 700 acre property. Those were needed to control privacy and access.

We went up to the property soon after it was sold and reported on Mark Zuckerberg House on Kauai at Pila`a Beach.

Kuleana land on Kauai.

Kuleana lands were originally designed to convey ownership rights largely to Native Hawaiians, who previously had communal ownership of land.

At issue here was control of four small “Kuleana” land parcels that were handed down from Manuel Rapozo. A seemingly innocuous company named Northshore Kalo LLC came along that wanted to help clear up the property title by enabling the UH professor to take ownership and subsequently pay off his other family members for their shares. Sounds okay, no?

Enters a Zuckerberg shell company.

Honolulu Star Advertiser was first to reveal that Northshore Kalo wasn’t at all as it appeared, but was in actuality a shell company they said was controlled by Zuckerberg. At that time, Facebook’s owner was pursuing eight lawsuits related to small Kauai land parcels that were within his 700 acre planned mega estate. In another lawsuit, it is alleged that Professor “Andrade’s bid at the auction will be financed by Zuckerberg or an entity he controls.”

For those who Zuckerberg sued, their options were to sell their partial shares in the land or to try to outbid Zuckerberg. There were threats regarding legal fees too, which further exacerbated the fear and consternation.

Then came what on the surface was an about face.

Does anyone know better how to spin news than the king of Facebook?

In an attempt to control a media nightmare, Zuckerberg published in our Garden Island newspaper, a piece that apologized and stated that the pending suits would be dropped. Sounds great, no?

In a change in methdology apparently designed to accomplish the exact same outcome, Zuckerberg said he would support the UH professor’s claim to these Kuleana lands.

Other Rapozo family members realized the futility involved, but continued to resist this forced sale. They assert that Zuckerberg’s involvement has made a legal mockery of Hawaii’s land system and courts. Nonetheless they have continued to fight for access to their family property and access to the beach.

History of the property.

The original land owner, Manuel Rapozo, came to Kauai from the Azores in the late 1800’s during the flood of immigration from Spain and Portugal, and became a citizen of the Kingdom. He died in 1918, at which time his land began passing through generations of family members.

When Zuckerberg bought the 700 acre parcel, Rapozo family members still had keys to the gate and were able to access the land and the beach. Family members throughout the islands have remained opposed to this outcome for their ancestrial land.

Enters billionaire “tag team tango.”

According to Wayne Rapozo, a family member who grew up here and now lives in the UK, Zuckerberg and the UH professor are a “tag team tango of billionaire and dissident cousin” who can do as they will with those who have no means or legal recourse to fight them. “This case sets a horrible precedent which is un-American and un-Hawaiian. They are making Hawaii look like a banana republic or colonial possession.”

How can you not wonder where the professor, supposedly on a fixed income, attained the ability to pay $2M for these small lands. Rumors circulating say that he is being funded by Zuckerberg. “…Based on Andrade’s ‘own bravado boasting,’ that he is being paid by Zuckerberg to restrict access.”

To Zuckerberg’s team and the professor, this process is apparently nothing more than an appropriate legal way to compensate these fractional family owners for their shares. Professor Andrade’s attorney said “it is not reasonable or practical for 138 parties to own and control 2.35 acres. The quiet title process exists to address such matters, so that there is a clear owner based on an individual’s ownership interests and history with the land.”

Zuckerberg’s spokesperson said “As Mark stated in his op-ed, he supports Dr Andrade’s claim to the property because Dr Andrade is the only member of the family to have cared for, lived on and paid taxes on this land and he did so over the course of 40 years. Mark kept his word and withdrew from the quiet title actions as a plaintiff. As required by law, Northshore Kalo became a defendant in the actions alongside the other individuals holding interests in the land. Neither Mark nor Northshore Kalo will bid at the auction. In fact, following the completion of the quiet title actions, neither Mark nor Northshore Kalo will own any interest in any of the kuleana involved in the quiet title action.”

“An action to quiet title is a lawsuit brought in a court having jurisdiction over property disputes, in order to establish a party’s title to real property, or personal property having a title, of against anyone and everyone, and thus ‘quiet’ any challenges or claims to the title.” — Wikipedia

We look forward to hearing your take on this Kauai controversy.

17 thoughts on “Zuckerberg Controversy Here on Kauai Unabated”

  1. Interesting read. One word kept stopping my read in its tracks though. “Quiet” title. Why would the title not make noise? Pretty sure it is a “quit” title claim.

  2. Why does Zuckersuck think he needs so much.? What greed is doing to our world is a shame. Instead of using just what you need, greed makes him take take take. Instead of a role model he is a greedy s.o.b.

  3. The people of Hawaii have power through their elective officials to specify taxation. Start a wealth tax on land owners worth more than $50 billion.

    Have you ever noticed that these multi-billionaires always list themselves as philanthropists? When I was ten I gave $1 to the march of dimes. I maybe had $10 from my paper route. Has Mark given a tenth of his wealth to any one cause?

    Besides, aren’t weasels ban in Hawaii?

  4. I wish the Hawaiian people well in their quest to keep their lands from the clutches of this multi billionaire. He wears a T-shirt most of the time to make people think he’s ‘just like me.’ In fact, he and the other tech oligarchs have been protected by, and tax advantaged by, government and they are no different than America’s historical Robber Barons in the railroad, oil, steel, rubber and automotive industries.

    They are different in one respect however. They control and censor their media and information. They steal and sell their customers’ personal information. They spy on their customers. It’s time to break up these Russian-like oligarchs and for cities, counties and states to get their just taxes from them.


    1. Yes, ALL Beaches are open to the public…A current example is a strip right-of-way to Secret Beach on the North Shore unrelated to Zuckerberg…..Someone in the local county government was ‘paid-off’ to look the other way around 20/25 years ago…..This action made the public drive further & walk a dangerous, longer path to access the Beach….There was even a ‘paid’ guard down there to scare people away….PS- The current county government is attempting to purchase the shorter right-of-way & that may happen THIS YEAR….!!!!..Mahalo for your interest.

  5. It is very confusing to me, but it definitely sounds underhanded. Please explain what a shell company is. Hoping for the best for the state of Hawaii and the people of Kauai. Thank you.

    1. Hi Rita.

      In this case the shell company is referring to that which is apparently used to further Zuckerberg’s wishes. That after the first and more overt attempts met with a public relations nightmare.


    2. There is public access to “Larsen’s Beach”. It is a rather treacherous steep trail and much easier and safer to cross over Zuckerberg land. But he has guards and cameras everywhere. He has not proven to be a pono neighbor and is not held in high esteem on north shore of Kauai.

  6. Respectfully I will mention that your headline has “unabated” spelled incorrectly 🙂


  7. Everyone involved shine the light on what he’s doing. Don’t give up. At least let his reputation be known for who he is k

  8. Zuckerberg & Chan have done the same thing at Lake Tahoe in California. I love California as my family has been here over nearly 160 years & Kauai where I’ve visited for over 45 years. Absolutely un-American but that’s been Facebook’s modus operandi with collection of personal info from users. It seems as if money talks (VERY LOUDLY)!

  9. Zukerberg needs to fall to the same fate as, Captain Cook! Zukerberg is a thief that screws with the lives of the Hawaiian, in the same way the Kingdom throne was usurped, his is just the 21st way around it…it’s new History in a candy coated guise, stay away from this Mark Zukerberg folks because he is wearing clothing that conceals his true self!

    1. Tear down the wall and make ur way to the beach he ‘thinks he owned’ [censored]. He’ll pay. In hell

    2. He has no connection to Hawaii or California. He’s a lucky little [censored] from the east coast who happened to make billions by screwing people over. Now he’s doing the same thing in both Hawaii and California! Somebody needs to put this little [censored] in his place!

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