UPDATE: UH president says previous TMT deadline ‘has not been helpful’

  • Gov. Ige

UPDATED 5:12 p.m.

UH President David Lassner this afternoon released a letter regarding Maunakea in which he stated “there are no imminent plans to move the TMT construction equipment up the mauna” and he believes the pressure of the original September 2019 start deadline for TMT “has not been helpful in trying to resolve this extraordinarily complex situation. Although the removal of this deadline gives us more time to work together toward peaceful resolution, I acknowledge that some members of our community will be upset.”

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Lassner reiterated that he still believes “in the educational, inspirational and scientific benefits that TMT and modern world-class astronomy can bring to the people of Hawaii.”

He acknowledged, however, the divisiveness the project has created.

” … I realize that TMT now represents a huge source of friction in our work to become a model indigenous-serving university and Hawaiian place of learning. We will need many conversations over the months ahead to work on that together. My heart and mind are open as I continue to listen and share.”

He said his “biggest convern” is keeping “the fabric of our university from being torn apart.”

Lassner’s complete statement can be found here: www.hawaii.edu/news/2019/07/30/president-lassner-message-regarding-maunakea/

PREVIOUSLY

Gov. David Ige announced today that the deadline to begin construction on the Thirty Meter Telescope has been extended by two years and that he is rescinding an emergency proclamation regarding the protests that was issued two weeks ago.

At a press conference in Honolulu, Ige announced that, at the request of the University of Hawaii, DLNR would extend its conservation district use permit for the TMT site, moving the deadline to start construction to Sept. 26, 2021.

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Suzanne Case, chair of the board of Land and Natural Resources, said she believes UH has made good faith efforts to facilitate the start of construction, but TMT has been blocked by demonstrators occupying Maunakea Access Road.

Ige also announced that he has rescinded the emergency proclamation issued two weeks ago, saying there are no plans to move construction equipment up the mountain in the near future, because of the two approaching hurricanes. However, he said he is considering issuing new emergency proclamations for Hurricanes Erick and Flossie, depending on weather forecasts.

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