MAUNA KEA, Hawaii – On Sunday (Dec. 6), the kia’i who stood opposed to the Thirty Meter Telescope project on Mauna Kea gathered at Hale Pohaku to celebrate the Hawaii Supreme Court’s decision to vacate the $1.4 billion observatory’s permit.
Those who supported efforts to block the telescope, including some of those who were arrested during the nine month standoff, shared food, hugs, and music. They were even joined by the world-renowned Nahko and Medicine for the People, who graced the gathering with a few of their songs including I Mua, Mitakuye Oyasin (We Are So Provided For), and Black As The Night.
The Supreme Court’s December 2 ruling threw out the TMT’s conservation district use permit granted by the Board of Land and Natural Resources, saying the land board “acted improperly when it issued the permit prior to holding a contested case hearing.” The high court remanded the matter to the circuit court “to further remand to BLNR for proceedings consistent with this opinion, so that a contested case hearing can be conducted before the Board or a new hearing officer, or for other proceedings consistent with this opinion.” The order is a major set back for the TMT project, which may have to go through the same application process that took years to complete the first time around.
Big Island Video News reached out to TMT officials for comment but we were told its a little to early to talk about what comes next for the multi-national partnership.