Puna Councilman: Emergency Proclamation May Lead to Increased Conflict on Maunakea

July 18, 2019, 12:59 PM HST (Updated July 18, 2019, 1:01 PM)
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District 5 Councilmember Matt Kaneali`i-Kleinfelder expressed concerns about the impact of Gov. David Ige’s July 17, 2019, Emergency Proclamation.

He outlined his apprehensions about the proclamation in a July 18 news release.

“Over the past few months, a great deal of attention has been focused on Mauna Kea,” he wrote. “Recent moves by state and county officials leave me uncomfortable.

“The land lays almost entirely in state jurisdiction. Mauna Kea Access Road is a county-paved and
-maintained road on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands property. Mauna Kea is not the county’s jurisdiction, yet the county of Hawai‘i has been told to bear the costs of arrests, prosecution and manpower.

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“The expenses involved in this state-sponsored, private venture are building quickly.”

He went on to say that a recent news article stated that expenses would not be reimbursed by TMT.

“I’m extremely concerned the taxpayers of Hawai‘i are paying for a project being run by a foreign company both at a county and state level.

“A greater concern to our county is the declaration of a state of emergency. I was there Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. The kia‘i maintained Kapu Aloha in every situation as promised. The
unannounced closures of our highway were both premeditated, unnecessary and caused undue stress on county residents and visitors.

“The behavior of the kia΄i during the arrests was no different Monday than Wednesday. There was no emergency that warranted shutting down the Daniel K Inouye Highway to date. There was no reason to invoke a state of emergency to date.

“With our own administration quiet, I’m speaking up. This is our county. Too many decisions are being
made by off-island politicians and business interests that directly affect our social fabric!

“I have asked for fiscal tracking of all expenses incurred by our county and an expense report Aug. 6, 2019. I urge the other counties to inquire as well what costs they’ve accumulated so far.

For further information, contact the councilman’s office at (808) 961-8263.

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