Maui News

Mauna Kea Protectors Oppose UH Maunakea Master Plan

October 8, 2021, 6:00 AM HST
* Updated October 7, 9:08 PM
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A virtual public meeting to receive input about the draft of the new Maunakea Master Plan was held Oct. 6. Photo Courtesy: UH

The group identifying themselves as the “Mauna Kea Protectors” announced that they will be peacefully gathering Friday, Oct. 8, 2021 to voice opposition to the UH Draft Maunakea Master Plan. The group will gather at Wise Field in front of Bachman Hall at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, with formal protocol and speakers planned at 4:30 p.m.

Organizers issued a press release saying:

“For decades, Kanaka Maoli have been vigorously advocating for the protection of Mauna Kea.  Over the years, there have been mass protests, worldwide demonstrations, lawsuits, contested cases, petitions signed by hundreds of thousands of people, and thousands of both oral and written testimonies all saying NO to the building of TMT atop Mauna Kea.  Yet despite Hawai’i’s Native people and supporters saying “NO” to any further development, the UH released a Master Plan for Mauna Kea on Sept. 12, 2021 that prioritizes the building of TMT on summits sacred to the Kanaka Maoli people. The UH is asking for comments on their Mauna Kea Plan for the next 20 years despite the fact that their lease expires in 12 years.”

Long time Maunakea protector and Kanaka Maoli peacemaker, Laulani Teale said, “From a cultural and human rights perspective, the only pono ‘way forward’ for anything is one that fully adheres to FPIC (Free, Prior, Informed Consent) of the Indigenous People of that place.  Kanaka Maoli have clearly said no to both TMT and any new lease to UH, which has a long grievous, ongoing history of Indigenous abuse.”

Protocol takes place at the ‘Ahu on Wise Field led by Kumu Hinaleimoana Wong and continues with speeches from UH Professor Kaleikoa Ka`eo, Laulani Teale, Liko Martin, and UH student Ihilani Lasconia.

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Due to recent high COVID-19 numbers guidelines for the event include mask wearing and social distancing.

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The 122-page draft of the new plan, Master Plan for the University of Hawaiʻi Maunakea Lands; E Ō I Ka Leo (Listen to the Voice), is posted for public review and comment.

According to UH, the new plan will guide land use decisions on UH-managed Maunakea lands and serve as a framework for aligning land use decisions, management actions and educational programs. The existing Master Plan was adopted in 2000 with an intended 20-year lifespan. 

UH is accepting public comments on the draft Master Plan up through Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. All comments/feedback and forum questions will be taken into consideration as the draft is amended before going to the UH Board of Regents for review and possible further changes before final approval, which is expected in early 2022.

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