(BIVN) – Governor David Ige made some brief remarks on the Thirty Meter Telescope during his State of the State address on Tuesday, in a bid to bring together both sides of the controversial project planned for Maunakea.
Construction on TMT is currently on hold, at least for the next few months, but tensions remain high between those in support of the observatory and those opposed to its permitted location on Maunakea.
TMT opponents have criticized Governor Ige for his backing of the project, while TMT supporters have been unhappy with the governor’s failure to ensure the project can proceed despite the resistance.
Governor Ige spoke about the situation about two thirds of the way into his speech, saying:
And while we are on the subject of Native Hawaiian culture, let me digress for just a moment and speak on the Thirty Meter Telescope and Mauna Kea.
Emotions have run high on both sides. The arguments are strong on both sides, and that’s what makes the situation so difficult. There is no easy answer or quick solution. We will have to work hard if we want to resolve this conflict. But I truly believe it can be resolved, if we put our heads and our hearts together.
There are some who have encouraged me to take strong measures against those who are protesting on Mauna Kea. That would have been the easier course. But it is not just the authority of the law that is at stake. It is much more than that.
What is also at risk is the glue that has always bound us together: our sense of aloha. It is the thing that underpins our laws and gives them meaning and an ethical foundation. That trust in each other is also sacred. And I will not break that bond, no matter how convenient or easy.
At the heart of our dilemma is both the history of wayfinding and discovery and the future of wayfinding and discovery. If we have lost our way, we must find our way back.
To do this, we must be open hearted, as well as open minded. We must listen, as well as speak with conviction, and we must have aloha for each other, in spite of our differences.
I am of that mind, and I ask all to join me in continuing to look for a way forward. I stand ready to work with any and everyone who refuses to let this issue divide us. Let us together find a way forward.