(BIVN) – Governor David Ige says he is supportive of Mayor Harry Kim’s personal quest to create a cosmopolitan people’s park – or something to that effect – on Mauna Kea.
In a recent interview with Sherry Bracken, the governor said the two elected officials have had numerous conversations on the subject and share the same long term vision.
“Mauna Kea is more than the conflict that is currently before us,” Ige said. “We embrace the notion that it can become a symbol of peace and about bringing together the process of cultural preservation and cultural celebration and at the same time being a place where knowledge and new learning can occur.”
As the governor sees it, Kim’s plan compliments Ige’s 10 point plan, shared in 2015 during the standoff on the mountain over the Thirty Meter Telescope project. Part of the governor’s plan included returning a majority of the Mauna Kea lands to state management, rather than the University of Hawaii-Hilo based Office of Mauna Kea Management. The governor also wanted to see the formation of a Mauna Kea Cultural Council to “work with the Board and Department of Land and Natural Resources and the governor’s office to ensure that all acts from here forward are sensitive to and observant of the host culture.” The governor’s 10-point plan never fully materialized.
Mayor Kim first began speaking about his vision at his December 2016 inauguration. Since that time, he has been having conversations with different groups involved in Mauna Kea management and astronomy. But when the mayor presented his idea to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees during a recent meeting on Oahu, a majority of the beneficiaries who testified slammed the mayor’s attempt to involve himself in the controversial issue.
Bracken interviewed Governor Ige for an episode of Island Issues.