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Wednesday, February 3, 2021
VIDEO: Saiki Calls for UH to Give up Mauna Kea
By Video @ 3:48 AM :: 2444 Views :: Hawaii County , Greenmail, Higher Education, OHA

House Speaker Saiki’s speech today (Feb 2, 2021) on Mauna Kea.  

When politicians talk about management it’s because they think it’s some middle ground for building the TMT. They still want to build it but now they are open to discussing who could benefit. They are willing to hang the carrot out there. I can’t count the number of times a politician has told me we won’t agree on TMT so then let’s talk about the mismanagement of Mauna Kea. How’s about this - let’s make it illegal to desecrate and develop Mauna Kea and then let’s talk about management. --- Healani Sonoda-Pale, Protect Mauna Kea

As Explained: Telescope: For OHA, it’s all About the Rent Money

Package Deal?  Saiki, Hanabusa Launch Attack on State Auditor to Save OHA’s Dirty Secrets

COVERAGE: 

Saiki: UH not fit to manage mountain

HTH: ...  One of the leaders of the kia‘i, Noe Noe Wong-Wilson — an academic, Hawaiian cultural practitioner and executive director of the nonprofit Lalakea Foundation — said she was surprised by Saiki’s announcement and is “cautiously optimistic.”

“We have been on opposite sides of the table for so long that it is welcome news to think that he is willing to call for a change in the management of the mauna, which is something we’ve been calling for, for awhile,” Wong-Wilson said. “And he further made a bold statement that any further movement on any renewal of the lease should cease, immediately.

“Where we go from there, and what the new structure would look like, I really am not privy to any details. He talked about kia‘i having a seat at the table, and I’m not sure what that means, or what process will take place to decide who that is, or what group represents us.”

Kealoha Pisciotta, president of Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, an organization of Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners opposed to telescope construction, went even further, favoring a bill introduced to the Legislature calling for no further development on the summit.

“You need to remove the injury before you begin talking about anything else,” Pisciotta said.

While the master lease is held by UH, the future of that lease and whom it will be entrusted to is vital to the astronomy community.

“The Maunakea Observatories share Speaker Saiki’s view that long-lasting solutions cannot come from drawing lines, working in silos or disregarding different perspectives,” said Doug Simons, director of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. “We have confidence that a path forward can be found to serve the community’s collective interest, and will commit to supporting productive collaboration that seeks solutions, cognizant of the need to reach a timely resolution.”

Chun said for the observatories, “the security of knowing who the landowner is going to be is extremely important to them … so that they can make decisions about improvements to their facilities going forward.”

“So, it affects everybody, actually. It doesn’t just affect TMT,” he said....

read ... Saiki: UH not fit to manage mountain

Hawaii House Speaker says UH should no longer manage Mauna Kea

KHON: … The University of Hawaii has held the master lease to manage the astronomy precinct and the natural, cultural and preservation area since 1968. The master lease is set to expire in 2033 and the University is currently working to extend it. The University has tried to manage Mauna Kea, but for too long the University’s work has been shrouded by its inability to appropriately manage cultural practices, resources and education. This is why the University of Hawaii must no longer manage Mauna Kea and it should seize its work to extend the master lease. – Speaker Saiki ….

read … Hawaii House Speaker says UH should no longer manage Mauna Kea

Speaker Saiki called on UH to stop managing Mauna Kea

KITV: … The announcement did not surprise Greg Chun, the University of Hawaii's director of Mauna Kea Stewardship.

"We've had those conversations before. I think that from our perspective, our role and our job, is to ensure we're doing the best possible job we can in stewarding the mountain and try and find a balance in the multiple interest that people have," Chun said.

Chun does not believe the end is near for UH. In fact, he says the school will continue to move forward as stewards of Mauna Kea by updating its management plan.

"To recognize that after a solid foundation of 20 years, we're also needing to build on that and move in some other directions so restructuring itself allows us to bring management entities together," Chun said. 

The inability to manage cultural practices, resources and education are some of the reasons Saiki believes UH is unfit to manage the mountain. Saiki wants to create what he calls a working group: made up of Kiai, or protectors of the mountain, lawmakers and native Hawaiians from the Big Island. State Representative David Tarnas' district includes Mauna Kea, he supports the idea.

"The university, while they've done a good job with managing the resources, they haven't done well to address management objectives related to protecting and engaging the community as well as protecting cultural resources," Tarnas said.

Some of the Kiai KITV4 spoke with today called it much welcomed news, especially after months of demonstrations against construction of TMT back in 2019.

"I'm happy to hear that. We have a lot of work to do to get to a point we will all be willing to support and agree to where we move forward on the Mauna," Noe Noe Wong-Wilson, a Ku Kiai Mauna member, said.

Chun does not think what Saiki said was out of line. He says if the state wants to change directions, he's willing to work together….

read … Speaker Saiki called on UH to stop managing Mauna Kea

CB: Details on a new governance committee proposed by the Hawaii House speaker that would investigate a new management structure have yet to be seen.

CB: House Leader Lays Out Proposals For Accountability, Land And Tourism

SA: Saiki said the House plans to introduce a resolution calling for a new management structure for Mauna Kea

SA:  Saiki, who continues to support TMT on the mountain, must know it’s something of a long shot. 

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