(BIVN) – Hawaiʻi County Councilman Matt Kanealiʻi-Kleinfelder on Wednesday cast his vote in favor of a resolution “strongly urging” Governor David Ige and Mayor Harry Kim to honor the request of Hilo’s State Senator Kaialiʻi Kahele “calling for a moratorium on the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna A Wakea.”
Kanealiʻi-Kleinfelder made this statement before the vote:
I believe that the decision made here will be one of the most momentous decisions made in the history of this state.
I think what I saw highlighted today, again and again, is the divisiveness that has been created in our community by this project. We are pitting ʻohana against ʻohana. Police vs. residents. Government vs. Constituents. And it’s all being done on the backs of our County and the residents of this county, really. And it’s gonna come down to everybody. But really at the heart of it we, this county, are paying for what’s happening.
The cost being incurred, which is just one aspect of this, on behalf of foreign entities – however you want to look at that – are you gonna be incurred by the residents of our County and this entire state, both socially and fiscally. and they’re unnecessary.
It is my job to speak for my constituents and I will. I support the moratorium that… Kai Kahele put out, and that Maile David brought in and breached into this meeting. I support my ʻohana. I support my constituents who are both for and against. I support my own Puna officers, who I saw on the mountain staring at the people that they know from their own communities, and that was very hard to watch.
In support of all that, I’m going to ask hard questions. Yesterday, Ige visited the mountain for the first time. Our own mayor was there for the second or third time. I was there Saturday, Sunday, Monday,
Wednesday, Friday… and if I had enough time and didn’t have so many things going on, I’d spend more time there.
This isn’t about politics anymore, this is about supporting the people who live here. Again and again, I heard today that it doesn’t matter if, obviously, if you were born here or you live here now. If you support this you support it.
I completely support this. I appreciated Maile David doing this, again. I will continue to go up to the mountain. I will continue to help in whatever way I can. I think what we’re starting to see is a very clear change of the narrative and we’re starting to see true colors. And that’s important.
I do need to say again, I do support my officers because they’re the same guys who help us in our communities. I am amazed by the degree of Kapu Aloha that is being shown on that mountain, because I myself would have a hard time holding myself to that standard, and it is amazing, and it is beautiful. And I respect anyone who can do that to that degree in that kind of situation. Probably one of the most amazing things I’ve seen in my life. From being on Mauna Kea over the past week, two weeks, I can honestly say that – and I will share this – that you said earlier and I forget your name in the green shirt. [to Hokulani Reyes] You said that what you felt up there is more real and there is more Aloha being shared than you felt anywhere else especially when you came down. I echo that. I strongly echo that because when I came back down there was something missing, and what’s missing is the spirituality of Mauna Kea, and the realness of the people there, and the reality of what’s happening. And you cannot you cannot fake that.
So, mahalo for that comment.
And again Mahalo for everyone who came in here and who came in two weeks ago. Like I said, I’ll continue to ask the hard questions. I’m gonna ask in two weeks. I’m gonna ask him two more weeks. And I’m gonna keep asking. We’re giving everyone the opportunity to come in and again – Kapu Aloha – you can come in for or against, and we’re gonna listen the same way that the protectors are doing on top of the mountain, right now.