MAUNA KEA, Hawaii – The Office Of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees held an official site visit to the 9,000 foot level of Mauna Kea on Wednesday in order to meet with those holding vigil at Hale Kukia’imauna.
Wednesday’s site visit had added significance following the arrest of eight people by state DLNR law enforcement officers early in the morning at the same location. The state identifies Hale Kukia’imauna as the base of operations for the opposition movement that has managed to block construction crews from working on the Thirty Meter Telescope project at the summit area of the mountain. The Board of Land and Natural Resources enacted emergency rules in response forbidding anyone from camping within one mile on either side the Mauna Kea Access Road, or being present in the same area between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.
OHA has raised legal questions about the new rules. “Native Hawaiians have constitutionally protected rights to reasonably engage in traditional and customary practices, and regulations cannot eliminate the exercise of these rights,” OHA wrote in a released statement on Wednesday. “We hope for a resolution that ensures our beneficiaries’ rights are protected instead of violated.”
This video documents the arrival and welcome of the trustees to the hale.
Big Island Video News soon will have more video of the mo’olelo and emotion that was shared with trustess during the visit.