(BIVN) – House Bill 2024 HD1, a bill to establish the Mauna a Wākea Stewardship Authority, passed third reading in the Hawaiʻi State House of Representatives on Tuesday.
The bill will establishing a new stewardship authority “as the sole authority for management of state-managed lands on Mauna Kea”. The Authority will be required to “develop a single plan that dictates the management of land uses; human activities, uses, and access; stewardship; education; research; disposition; and overall operations”.
On the vote, Representatives Branco, Gates, Holt, Kapela, Kitagawa, Matsumoto, McKelvey, Okimoto, Perruso, Quinlan, Takumi, Wildberger voted aye with reservations, while Representatives B. Kobayashi, D. Kobayashi, LoPresti, Lowen, and Ward voted no (5) and none excused (0).
Just outside the House chamber, an ʻaha pule no Maunakea was conducted every hour while the floor session was held.
According to the standing committee report, the bill – which refers to Maunakea as “Mauna a Wākea” throughout – received testimony in support from Kamehameha Schools, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Protect Kaho’olawe ‘Ohana, Hilo Hawaiian Civic Club, Waimea Hawaiian Civic Club, Hawai’i Alliance for Progressive Action, Hui Mauli Cia, Save Our Sherwoods, ‘Ahahui o na Kauka, Aha Kane, Kanaeokana, Protect Pololu Project, Puakalehua Early Learning Consortium, and numerous individuals.
The bill also garnered testimony in opposition from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the University of Hawai’i System, University of Hawai’i Board of Regents, Hawai’i Island Chamber of Commerce, Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, Imua TMT, Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai’i, Hawaii Forest and Trail; Taikobo Hawaii,Inc., Hawaiian Eyes Tour, KAHEA: The HawaiianEnvironmental Alliance, Mauna Kea Moku Nui ‘Aelike/Consensus Building ‘Ohana, Ka Ohana O Na Pua, Hawaii Island Economic Development Board, Hawaii Leeward Planning Conference, ‘Ai Noa Foundation, Wahine Apapalani, Na Koa Ikaika Ka Lahui Hawaii, Arnott’s Lodge, Kundalini of Kona Inc., Center for Hawaiian Sovereignty Studies, and numerous individuals.
House Bill 2024 will now go the Hawaiʻi State Senate, where it is “unlikely to pass”, reports say.