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.


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.


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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