Mauna Kea defenders ask for OHA support against the building of 30-m telescope

The Thirty-Meter Telescope project on the top of the frequently snow-covered Mauna Kea of Hawaii that is sacred to native Hawaiians. It would ruin a five acres of land, and build up waste and toxics in the ecosystem.

Trustees with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs was urged by the Protect Mauna Kea advocates to join them in opposing the thirty meter telescope project.

Kaleikoa Kaeo said, “We have risen. We have awakened. We have remembered.”

At OHA’s board meeting, leaders and supporters of the movement held signs and begged the board to take a stand against the $1.4 billion project they believe will desecrate the sacred mountain.

Andre Perez of the Movement for Aloha No ka Aina expressed the urgency with the dealings of the project.

But, the topic was not included on the agenda. Even OHA trustees took turns addressing the conflict and whether the board should rescind a 2009 vote supporting the telescope.

Dan Ahuna said that this issue has risen to such a level that they can no longer wait. Their community is demanding action on their part as trustees.

Trustee Rowena Akana countered that it’s kind of a moot issue. Their vote would be a symbolic one because it’s already happened. What is important, they listen to the people.

Outside OHA’s offices, members of the Movement for Aloha no Ka Aina camped Wednesday night and vowed to hold an extended vigil until the board acted to protect Mauna Kea.

Kahookahi Kanuha said the group had made its point.

They want the officials to address the issue for that’s their responsibility.

The board members voted to move up a special meeting from May 7 to April 30 to discuss OHA’s position on the telescope issue.

Trustee Peter Apo said that it is about more than just a telescope. It’s about the entire public land trust.

All they want is to stop the further telescope development on Mauna Kea for this is a formula for disaster. Telescope expansion is heading to industrial pollution and ecosystem loss.


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