Lack of Proper Consultation May Have Placed the Mauna Kea’s $1.3 B Telescope project In Jeopardy

The Thirty Meter Telescope facility scheduled, to be erected atop Mauna Kea might be staring at a protest that could snowball into an international issue.  A small group of activists, had protested against the proposed facility at Mauna Kea, when construction begun 10 days ago, with the every intention of blocking the proposed facility.

The main gripe of the activists is that the $1.3 Billion project may have been approved without first obtaining proper land approvals. They contend also that the native Hawaiian groups have not been consulted before the decision to construct the telescope was taken. This is a considered a serious matter for the native Hawaiians as they consider the mountain sacred. It is a curious matter that science and spirituality have disagreed against each other in a very odd way.

In order to understand the truth of the first original creation, scientists hope to see 13 billion light years away.  Conversely, the Hawaiian natives ponder the mountain a sacred site as it is considered as the cradle of their creation. But, this site is fundamental for scientists as it is an ideal location that can warrant undisturbed transmission/reception of signals because of its isolated and sheltered position.

However, after having at least 30 protesters arrested for blocking the road to the project site yesterday, their protest has assimilated in the national news. Organizers claimed that around 300 people had joined the protest. The protest has also attracted native Hawaiian leaders who had previously stayed away.

However, the opposition is not against the telescope site itself or the scientific enterprise that propels it, but rather against the choice of the site for construction of the project. Due to the sacred character of the mountains, all the highest points in the range are considered homes of different deities followed by the Hawaiians.

“It is the burial grounds of some of our most sacred and revered ancestors,” said Kealoha Pisciotta, a project opponent. “It is a place where we go for sanctuary and release from the world around us, and it is also the home of our god.”




  1. Larry O'Brien says

    While I support the right of people to protest development they consider harmful, this article is just factually wrong. If your site is really interested in journalism, you could have, y’know, spent two minutes Googling. Over the past 7 years, there’s been an EIS, a Conservation District Use Permit process, and approval by the native Hawai’ian Kahu Ku Mauna Council.

  2. Mishi Clauberg says

    There have been approvals given Larry, but not by the correct people and they go against everything thats been put in place to keep the site undisturbed and the mountain protected. The proposed telescope will be 18 stories (184 ft tall), while the height limit on Moko O Keawe is 90 ft. Here is a great video with a lot of the facts that are left out. and a fact sheet here

    One thing every report fails to mention is that there are already 13 other telescopes on Mauna Kea. The reason it is so ideal for the location is because it has been kept so in tact and conserved…which is how we want to keep it!

  3. says

    Facts are manipulated in the MSM on a daily basis to serve whomever has more money involved. The fact is there were behind closed door discussions and public out cry from the start. This mega observatory has broken ground without proper unbias EIS, is in violation of State permitting guidelines within a Conservation District and has not been approved giving the public chance to testify in at the County Council forum. This one was trying to be backdoor handshaked by the UH system so they can get a 1.00 an acre lease and charge big dollars per use of this mega structure proposed to be built upon the Main Watershed and Aqua-firs of Hawaii Island. Mauna Kea happens to be the most Sacred of Temples to the Hawaiian peoples. Now I cannot tell where you are from but you must not be a native or love living here because if you did you would realize having some fresh water to drink is a great reason alone. Being that I Believe this Mauna cares for us and keeps us safe in more ways than your shallow minded political associates and investment firm cronies will for you when this is over, I firmly will fight with all my Ohana and Hoaaloha to keep what is Sacred and Lifegiving safe. Take your dollars and leave Hawaii.

  4. says

    This is like saying because the “hands up dont shoot” saying is factually incorrect that proves there is no systemic racism in our justice system. Do you live here? Get REAL!

  5. Larry O'Brien says

    I totally get the issue that it’s sacred land and I support the right of people to oppose the development because of that. I don’t think protestors need any reason beyond that. And I’ve lived here long enough to be incredibly cynical about developers promising community benefits that never materialize (Hualalai, Kohanaiki, Palamanui, etc.) I also get that some of the people protesting don’t feel that the current state or Federal government has jurisdiction.

    What I’m saying is that the protests are not about “lack of proper consultation” or “first obtaining proper land approvals.” That makes it seem like the protests are about the process, not the more fundamental things that are really at the heart of the protests.

    There have been protests about every development on MK for as long as I can remember and I know that many people don’t want *the process* to be better, they want to “pop the pimples” on the mountain. If there are problems or fraud with the EIS or CDUP (and again, yeah I live here so I know that fraud and corruption exist), that should be exposed. If you live here, you know the TMT has been debated for *years*, it’s not some sudden thing that no one knew was happening. AFAICT the process has followed the appropriate US laws and passed court challenges (obviously, if you don’t think the US has jurisdiction, then you see the whole process is invalid, but that’s a much bigger issue than any single construction project).

    • Michael says

      People don’t care. They’re perfectly content to wait until the ninth hour, then show up with some signs on the mountain top and claim the high road. Of course, the media eats it up and inevitably you now have a corrupt outsider vs noble Hawaiian story playing out in the press. It’s absurd.

      And what the heck is an “aqua-fir”?

  6. Cathy Kroeker says

    it seems to me this whole dispute could have been avoided by simply consulting with the people on the island. To assume it’s “OK” to do anything there without asking is arrogant and rude.

  7. says

    I’m a KANAKA MAOLI, therefore, I am against the University in their
    plans to build that telescope on Mauna Kea. I have read some where
    That should the place this telescope on the highest mountain, its not just
    to study the stars or other planets, its going to used as a point to lead
    other countries to Hawaii, for war & eventually, destroy the Hawaiian islands….that’s one thing the UH is not saying….the red laser is what
    other countries, like Germany, Russia, etc, will see follow. Why do they have to study the stars….Our Kupuna’s already did that many years ago
    & already thought us…..

  8. pomai says

    UH cannot be trusted w\ kuleana of our sacred sites.
    Their leases must be terminated.

    Pimping out our national treasures isn’t pono
    Return our seized lands.

    Aole TMT

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