FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SACRED MAUNA KEA PRESS RELEASE 6/4/2015
RESPONSE TO GOVERNOR DAVID IGE’S STATEMENT FOR THE TMT DESECRATION OF OUR SACRED MAUNA KEA TO RESUME CONSTRUCTION
Kamahana Kealoha: 808-853-8062 (mobile)
Sacred Mauna Kea Hui e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For a complete list of media communications, please see below
Aloha mai kākou,
Sacred Mauna Kea Hui would like to respond to Governor David Ige’s 5/26/2015 statement on allowing the Mauna Kea desecration to resume. We appreciate Governor Ige’s previous action of halting construction for an indefinite time to listen to both sides, we also appreciate that he has only made this statement after consulting and forming his opinions on the matter.
We agree with his criticism on the mismanagement of Mauna Kea. Sacred Mauna Kea Hui’s opinion, however, on the TMT project remains the same:
This is a blatant disrespect of our cultural beliefs and our sacred lands. It is a blatant disregard for laws in place regarding conservation land. It also exploits “ceded lands”, which were stolen from the Hawaiian Kingdom that was illegally overthrown in 1893 and has been occupied by the US government since 1898. These Hawaiian Kingdom Lands are designated for use to benefit Native Hawaiians, and no such benefits are forthcoming from the development of Mauna Kea. Governor Ige was elected to represent the interests of the people of Hawai‘i, but it seems he is torn between representing us and appeasing an outside consortium, which should not be much of his concern.
From Governor David Ige’s press conference:
- The importance of respecting our host culture and the special places of Hawai‘i.
- The critical role that science and technology play in the economic and educational life of our community. Our young people need to reach for the stars, literally and figuratively.
- Respect for the laws and the process of seeking and receiving approvals to do work in Hawai‘i.
- The need in all of our work as government, and as people, to take the time to listen, and to learn, from each other and especially from those who feel they have not been heard.
- To act always with aloha.
We do not believe the TMT respects the host culture and our sacred place of Mauna Kea and we do not believe the project acts with aloha. We do not need a further “Cultural Council” advisory board or (mis)management, we need our community and Native Hawaiian cultural leaders who are protecting Mauna Kea to be listened to and our opinions respected.
Governor Ige’s 10 point improvement plan recommends and requires the University of Hawai‘i “formally and legally bind itself to the commitment that this is THE last area on the mountain where a telescope project will be contemplated or sought”. In 1968 the community only agreed to one telescope being built on Mauna Kea; the other telescopes and TMT were never part of that agreement. However, the DLNR has continued to ignore growing opposition, and has said yes to the construction of all 14 of these telescopes. We believe this is already the 13th telescope we are being fooled into accepting, when only one was once agreed upon, when our voices were still too small to protest the desecration. We say enough is enough.
“Although State entities have made decisions in the past to allow the TMT to pass through the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Conservation District Use Application process, the flagrant industrialization of an endangered species district reasonably warrants that entities involved seriously consider the legal ramifications of denying Kanaka, and all Hawaii citizens, the basic humanity and protections securing the absolute safety of Hawaii Island’s main freshwater aquifer, a resource essential to all life.
The Sacred Mauna Kea Hui also asserts that respect, as consistent with the Hawaiian customs associated with any remains interred, be afforded to iwi, or Hawaiian burials, and that these sacred remains absolutely, for no reason, be desecrated by disturbing them in any way.
Humbly, the Sacred Mauna Kea Hui maintains that an endangered species protected environment, should never be industrialized so blatantly a stone’s throw away from Hawaii Island’s main water aquifer which is also home to countless sacred, unidentified, traditionally interred graves.”
– Kamahana Kealoha
Mauna Kea sits on the main aquifer for the island of Hawai‘i. There are many toxic chemicals including mercury needed for the use of the telescopes; chemicals from other telescopes in place have already leaked into the soil. TMT construction vehicles and equipment have also spilled oil into the ground. The summit is home to rare, endangered species such as the palila bird and the wekiu bug, found nowhere else on earth. The wekiu bugs’ habitat has already been damaged from the building of the previous 13 telescopes on the summit, and the TMT will damage a much larger area. It will be 18 stories tall, will dig into the ground the equivalent of over two stories of a building, and will cover an area of 8 acres. Current building laws on the island do not even allow a building that tall to be built.
There are over 100 sites of worship documented by archaeologists spread across the summit, many of these will be destroyed if construction proceeds. There is our sacred Lake Waiau near the summit, which is associated with the Hawaiian snow goddess Poli‘ahu and a goddess of the mist named Lilinoe. Lake Waiau has been drying up, because previous construction has cracked the soil, causing the sacred waters made of melted snow to slowly leak away. TMT construction will further damage the area, and cause the lake to dry up faster and completely disappear.
One of the arguments brought up to promote the TMT in this location, is that the construction and research will create up to 10,000 jobs for the local community to benefit from, a highly exaggerated figure. In truth, the 300 construction jobs are only temporary, and the permanent employment in 140 jobs working on the telescope will only benefit the select few island residents qualified for these positions. The 140 job figure includes part-time positions and volunteers.
Another argument given to pay us off, is that the TMT will give $1,000,000 towards the education of children on Hawai‘i Island. Breaking down the promised $1,000,000 into numbers for each student, if it were to be distributed equally and not by scholarships: there are around 433 public and private schools on the island, each school would get a total of $2309, and each child enrolled would only receive $4.33 of this amount. The TMT promises $1,000,000 “for the education of our children to encourage science and technology”, when in fact every child would only receive 4 dollars and 33 cents annually from this.
The Hawaiian Kingdom Lands issue brings into question political sovereignty for Hawaiian Nationals as well. We are defending our entire island chain from state-sponsored globalization, the negligent stewardship and prodevelopment of the State of Hawai‘i, Department of Land and Natural Resources, and University of Hawai‘i System. Thus, the solution we ask for is that the TMT be built elsewhere, and not on the summit of our sacred Mauna Kea. We also ask for the previous telescopes to be decommissioned and removed, since many of them have fallen into disrepair and have already caused environmental pollution, and some have been abandoned, left to rot on the summit.
Mauna Kea is the most sacred place to Hawaiians and one of the most sacred places to the people of Polynesia. Mauna Kea is the first born child of our gods Wākea and Papahānaumoku. Wākea means “vast expanse” of the heavens, and is our sky father. Papahānaumoku is our earth mother, her name means “the foundation (papa) who gave birth (hānau) to our islands (moku)” because our islands were created from her body, the earth. The summit of Mauna Kea, the highest point in all of the Pacific, is where Papa and Wākea came together to create our world.
The “piko”, the umbilical cord or center of one’s being has tied us as Kānaka Maoli to the summit of Mauna Kea for generations. For generations, we have referred to the summit as “ka piko kaulana o ka ‘āina” (“the famous summit of all the land”) to describe its sacredness and wonders.
Mahalo to Governor Ige for his diplomacy, but we will continue to stand in aloha to protect our Sacred Mauna Kea and the world is watching every move. Onipa‘a.
For further information:
Facebook: Sacred Mauna Kea Hui – Fanpage www.facebook.com/sacredmaunakea
Visit our knowledge-well at sacredmaunakea.wordpress.com to learn more.
Sacred Mauna Kea Hui has been collecting news statements and stories of interest to counter the pro-TMT media bias. We welcome submissions by other writers, as long as these are in line with our belief of protecting Sacred Mauna Kea against the desecration of the TMT and other corporate ventures.
Visit our fundraising website at gofundme.com/SacredMaunaKea to donate.
The Sacred Mauna Kea fund guarantees transparency and a willingness to provide donors with a list of expenditures upon request. We also facilitate other hui with our donations that cover travel expenses and encampment logistics for the protectors of Mauna Kea. Food, gas, outer-island air travel, carport tents, electric generators and other camp equipment have been funded by the donations to Sacred Mauna Kea.
Sacred Mauna Kea Hui would like to again express its gratitude to HRH Princess Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawānanakoa for having chosen our fund to donate to.