Outstanding Native Hawaiians Named to Mauna Kea Authority

By AUDREY McAVOY, Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) — Gov. David Ige on Monday appointed a number of individuals, together with some distinguished Native Hawaiian activists, to a brand new board charged with managing Mauna Kea summit lands beneath a few of the world’s most superior astronomical observatories.

Two of the eight appointees — Lanakila Mangauil and Noe Noe Wong-Wilson — had been leaders of 2019 protests that introduced a halt to the development of the Thirty Meter Telescope, the newest observatory proposed for the mountain on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Many Native Hawaiians contemplate the summit sacred, and protesters objected to constructing one more telescope there. The summit presently hosts a few dozen telescopes constructed for the reason that late Sixties.

Responding to the protests, the state created the Mauna Kea Stewardship and Oversight Authority this 12 months with a brand new legislation that claims Mauna Kea should be protected for future generations and that science should be balanced with tradition and the atmosphere. Native Hawaiian cultural specialists could have voting seats on the governing physique, as a substitute of merely advising the summit’s managers as they do now.

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The eight nominations should be confirmed by the state Senate.

The authority could have 11 voting members. The different three are representatives of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, the University of Hawaii Board of Regents and Hawaii County’s mayor.

Ige thanked the nominees for being keen to serve on the authority.

“Through this new stewardship mannequin, I imagine we will discover a manner for science and tradition to coexist on Mauna Kea in a mutually helpful manner,” Ige stated in a press release.

Also appointed is Kamanamaikalani Beamer, a University of Hawaii professor and former commissioner of the Hawaii State Water Resource Management Commission. He was named for his experience in Hawaii Island land useful resource administration.

Former Kamehameha Schools common counsel and former Hawaiian Telcom president John Komeiji was appointed for his enterprise and finance expertise.

The governor chosen Rich Matsuda, an engineer who leads group relations for W.M. Keck Observatory, from three names submitted by Maunakea Observatories.

Matsuda, Wong-Wilson and Mangauil all served on a working group shaped by the House of Representatives to develop suggestions for managing the mountain. The working group’s report created the inspiration for the brand new legislation.

This story has been corrected to say that John Komeiji is a former common counsel of Kamehameha Schools.

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