KAHEA's statement on the Land Board's approval of the TMT permit

KAHEA's statement on the Land Board's approval of the TMT permit
Sep 28, 2017

Shelley Muneoka
(808) 524-8220

Mauna Kea is the anchor for kanaka maoli, it is our collective mana, which is being stripped and disrespected. Our deities exist in its winds, its rains and mist and dew, and its snows. The elemental nature of the Mauna reaffirms from where we come and where we now stand.

This is not the first time that the state Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) has failed to enforce constitutional and legal protections for conservation district lands, native Hawaiian cultural practices and the environmental resources upon which those practices depend. For two decades, a hui of Hawaiian cultural practitioners and environmental justice advocates have worked tirelessly to bring attention to these issues and to be voices of reason against unfettered development of our sacred Mauna Kea. In 2015, the Hawai'i Supreme Court invalidated BLNR's approval of the TMT permit. BLNR has missed another opportunity to do the right thing and KAHEA and other community petitioners are faced with the burden of fixing those failures, yet again.

The next step will be the court appeal. Both the Hearing Officer and the BLNR have committed some of the same procedural violations that the Hawai'i Supreme Court cautioned against. Both those for and against the TMT earlier sought to disqualify the Hearing Officer, and similarly, objected to participation by board members with conflicts of interest. We emphasize also that the TMT International Observatory Corporation does not have a sublease for its use of Mauna Kea lands. Construction should not begin before all legal processes have run their course. We've been here before, we are here now, and we are here in the days and years to come.


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