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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                    January 11, 2013





(Fri., Jan. 11, 2013)—Mayor Kirk Caldwell issued the following statement about the tragic death of former City Building Director Herb Muraoka and critical injury of Muraoka’s wife Marjorie in a traffic accident on the Pali Highway yesterday.


“Mr. Muraoka was a highly respected public servant who will be missed by many,” said Mayor Caldwell. “He dedicated his life to making our buildings safer, and helped make our community a better place. I met Mr. Muraoka just over a week ago on New Year’s Eve, and we had a great time sharing stories about his time at the City. He also took the opportunity to remind me about building safety, which was his true passion.


“There is no doubt that Mr. Muraoka’s tireless work to improve building codes has saved lives, which makes the circumstances of his death even more upsetting. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Marjorie while she recovers, and with all of his ohana. I fully support the Honolulu Police Department’s efforts to improve signage and infrastructure on this stretch of the Pali to prevent such a tragedy from ever occurring again.”


Muraoka worked for the City for 34 years and was a positive influence for generations of City employees, Caldwell said.


City Building Division Chief Tim Hiu said Muraoka will be missed by many City employees.


Herb Muraoka was a humble person and a man of few words, and his passing is deeply felt by the City,” Hiu said. “Many of us considered him the father of the modern day building code. The health and safety of the citizens of Honolulu were paramount to Herb. His legacy will live on in all of the buildings that we live and work in.”


Muraoka began working for the City in 1960 as a structural engineer, and was appointed as director and building superintendent of the Building Department in 1985 by Mayor Frank Fasi. He retired in 1994.


In 2008, Mayor Mufi Hannemann presented Muraoka with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his service to the City.




Media Contact: Jesse Broder Van Dyke, Mayor’s Office, 768-6928.