He followed his father Kahoukapu as 9th Alii Aimoku or sovereign of Hawaii. He was comtemporary with the Kakaalaneo family on Maui, with Kalonas on Oahu, and with Kahakuokane family on Kauai. No mention occurs in the traditions of any wars between Hawaii and Maui during this and the preceding reign, nor of any conquests made; yet the tradition is positive , and has not been contradicted, that Kauholanuimahu resided a great portion of his time at Honuaula, Maui, where he exercised royal authority, and, among, other useful works, built the fishpond at 'Keoneoio,' which still remains. During one of his long sejours on Maui, his wife Neula remained on Hawaii and took another husband, whose name has not survived in Hawaiian legend. The new husgand and rival revolted from Kauholanui and assumed the government of Hawaii. Informed of the treachery and the revolt, Kauholanui hastened back to Hawaii, suppressed the rebellion, and slew his opponent. After that, Kauholanui remained on Hawaii until his death. Kauholanui's wife, Neula, is said in some traditions to have been a Maui chiefess; if so, the district of Honuaula may have been her patrimonial estate, and that may account for the frequent and protracted residences the by Kauholanui."
He and Neula son Kihanuilulumoku succeed him as Alii Aimoku of Hawaii. He is said in some of the old chants to have had another son named Kaohuwale.