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Hawai‘i’s ziplines may be subject to new legislation

February 16, 2012
The Maui Weekly

Last week, a bill was discussed that could more strictly regulate ziplines in the State of Hawai'i. Several zipline courses exist on Maui, enabling riders to slide through forest canopies harnessed to lines suspended in the air.

The bill is a result of a fatal injury to a man late last year as the result of a broken cable. It proposes to require the state Department of Labor to conduct periodic safety inspections at a fee of $100 per inspection to the zipline companies. Some say this is not enough to avoid future accidents.

"A fee of $100 is incredibly unrealistic at the majority of courses, and may set a bad precedent," said Jeff Baldwin, operator of Pi'iholo Zipline. He added that inspections generally cost $5,000 and can take multiple days.

State Labor Department Director Dwight Takamine pointed out they do not have staffed experts to conduct the inspections and lack the funding to travel to many remote areas where the ziplines are located.

The exhibit is part of a partnership between Levin and Ka 'Ohana O Kalaupapa, which started working together in 2003. Levin began taking pictures of families for the organization. The exhibit is funded by the Hawai'i Tourism Authority, the Atherton Foundation, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and IDEA.

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