New ahu built on Maunakea

  • HOLLYN JOHNSON An ahu marks the former site of Hale o Kukiaimauna across from the Maunakea Visitor Information Station.

A new ahu has been erected near the Maunakea summit, less than a day after two other ahu were dismantled to make way for construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope.

The ahu — or altar — stands at the former site of Hale o Kukiaimauna, a structure located across the Maunakea Access Road from the Maunakea Visitor Information Station.

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Hale o Kukiaimauna was one of four unpermitted structures that were dismantled Thursday morning before Gov. David Ige announced that TMT construction will go ahead this summer, following years of delays.

A state source told the Tribune-Herald the new ahu had been erected by Thursday evening and likely was built using rocks from Hale o Kukiaimauna.

Unlike the two ahu dismantled on Thursday, the new ahu is not directly blocking access to the TMT site. However, like the previous ahu and Hale o Kukiaimauna, it is also an unpermitted structure.

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The two demolished ahu previously had iwi, or bones, interred within them, but it was not clear whether the new ahu had as well.

See Friday’s Tribune-Herald for more.

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