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Kim Offers ‘Way Forward’ in Maunakea Booklet

September 30, 2019, 4:58 PM HST
* Updated September 30, 5:56 PM
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Maunakea. PC: Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, Mayor Harry Kim released a nine-page PDF that he’s calling his Maunakea Booklet.

Titled A Way Forward: Maunakea, the document isn’t a push in support of or against the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) atop Maunakea, but rather “…about asking Hawai‘i’s people to come together and finding a path to go forward in a good way.”

The booklet offers a timeline of action on Maunakea, split up into categories of governance, culture, and language and education. It delves into issues of management, as well as concerns about both the number of telescopes and visitors on the mountain.

There are also several pledges listed near the bottom of the document, including messages from Kim, Gov. David Ige, University of Hawai‘i President David Lassner, Executive Director of TMT Ed Stone, the directors of the Maunakea Observatory and Interim Chairman of DHHL William Ailā.

“I will administratively restructure the management of Maunakea to include representation by the Hawaiian community and by County government while working with the Legislature for permanent restructuring of management,” Ige said. “I commit to work with DHHL and the Legislature to seek additional resources to increase housing on DHHL lands.”

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Lassner said he would commit to building a cultural facility to honor Hawaiian history, knowledge, culture and language. He also pledged to set aside land atop the mountain for exclusive use by cultural practitioners and said he would collaborate with the Native Hawaiian community to restructure the management of Maunakea.

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Stone pledged TMT would be a “good neighbor” and remain committed to “sustainable astronomy.”

“We commit to working toward this vision of Maunakea and the development of a new paradigm of sustainable astronomy on Maunakea founded on integrating culture, science, the environment and education, as demonstrated by the 10-plus-year consultation process, which included the Kahu Kü Mauna Council, Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners and other community members,” Stone wrote. “This led to a development plan and permit, which addressed concerns about impacts on the environment and cultural and historical sites.”

Protestors remain dug in on the mountainside, where they have blocked Maunakea Access Road and stalled construction of the TMT for more than two and a half months.

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Of his vision of Maunakea, Kim said, “Maunakea to be a symbol of nations working together for the pursuit of peace and harmony, a beacon of hope and discovery for the world.”

“This is not just about science,” he continued. “It is about combining culture and science. It is about respect and caring. It is about a quest for knowledge that will make us a better people and better stewards of this world.”

Mayor Kim’s full booklet can be accessed by clicking the link below.

A Way Forward

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