Protesters: Kim’s proposal is dead on arrival

  • Courtesy of HAWAII COUNTY

HILO — Leaders of the ongoing protest against the Thirty Meter Telescope said they are not satisfied with Mayor Harry Kim’s proposal for Maunakea.

In a document released Monday, Kim reiterated many of the common criticisms of the state and the University of Hawaii’s management of Maunakea and pledged, along with several state and UH officials, to improve how the state handles Native Hawaiian affairs.

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However, the protesters — who call themselves protectors of Maunakea — opposing the construction of the TMT were unmoved by the proposal.

Protest leader Andre Perez said late Monday that the plan is not a meaningful compromise, but simply an excuse to continue with the TMT project under the guise of engagement with some community leaders.

“We have made it clear many times over that we will not support any plan that includes construction of the TMT,” Perez said. “Mayor Kim cannot claim meaningful engagement with the pool of Hawaiian leaders that he has selected. There are many more stakeholders involved.”

Perez also said the protesters were only made aware of Kim’s proposal from media reports, which demonstrates how little communication the mayor’s office has had with the protest movement.

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“We will continue to protect Maunakea even if it means protecting the mauna from Mayor Harry Kim’s plan,” Perez concluded.

The document can be read online and downloaded at hawaiicountymayor.com/news.