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The fight to protect Mauna Kea has continued in Honolulu.
Trustees from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs were greeted Tuesday morning in their Honolulu offices by a large group of opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope.
A day earlier, OHA released a statement saying that the trustees continue to urge Gov. Ige and University of Hawai’i President David Lassner to address the outstanding legal issues that been involved in the planned Mauna Kea Thirty Meter Telescope project. OHA is also urging that these matters be addressed prior to the lifting of the construction moratorium.
“We are urging that all the stakeholders — including the Governor, the Mauna Kea ‘Ohana, University of Hawai‘i, OHA, DLNR, Office of Mauna Kea Management, and TMT — come together to kūkākūkā on a collective resolution that is in the best interest of Mauna Kea and that addresses each stakeholders’ interests,” said OHA Chairperson Robert K. Lindsey Jr. “Taking a step back and engaging respected voices on both sides of the issue in a productive and healthy conversation would give us a much-welcomed opportunity to find a positive outcome.”
“The Mauna Kea ‘Ohana leaders have cultivated a deep relationship with that ʻāina. They have taken on a kuleana that belongs to them—a kuleana that OHA cannot assume,” OHA Chief Executive Officer Kamana’opono Crabbe added in the same statement. “Those leaders also have extensive knowledge about the harms the potential TMT project would bring to Mauna Kea from both environmental and cultural perspectives. This is why OHA believes their voices are crucial in the discussions.”
Opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope have been on Oahu since Monday, when they delivered their petition against the construction of TMT to Governor David Ige. The group collected over 53,000 signatures.
The TMT protesters participated in a Kū Kia‘i Mauna March, which continued Tuesday through downtown to the governor’s office, following the appearance at OHA headquarters.
Last week, a Hawai’i Preparatory Academy student, Mailani Neal, began a pro-TMT petition, which as of press time, has just over 4,700 signatures. Neal, a Native Hawaiian says she loves “astronomy and my culture.”