OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

OHA statement on Hawaiʻi Supreme Court ruling on the Thirty Meter Telescope Permit

HONOLULU (Oct. 30, 2018) – Despite four state audits and generations of Native Hawaiians expressing concern about the threats to Maunakea, the state and the University of Hawaiʻi have continuously neglected their legal duties to adequately manage the mountain. Instead, they have consistently prioritized astronomical development at the expense of properly caring for Maunakea’s natural and cultural resources.

The Supreme Court’s ruling today demonstrates an urgent need for the state to create mechanisms to ensure that constitutionally protected traditional and customary practices and cultural resources are not sacrificed or abridged.

In November 2017, OHA sued to hold the state and UH accountable for its longstanding and well- documented mismanagement of Maunakea. For years, OHA held good faith discussions with the state to stop the state’s failed stewardship. Despite OHA’s best efforts, these discussions broke down several weeks ago. As a result, OHA is moving forward with its lawsuit.

After 50 years of empty promises to the mauna and our community, the state needs to be held accountable. Maunakea deserves better.


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