UH regents OK formation of group to study Maunakea management

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents approved Friday the formation of a Maunakea Governance Task Group after a protracted public hearing.

The six-member group will investigate and make recommendations regarding the University’s stewardship of Maunakea.

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Board member Alapaki Nahale-a told fellow members Friday that the board needed to get involved in the conversation about Maunakea. He said most of the 12 regents currently on the board have never voted on Maunakea issues.

Opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope — which is slated to be built on Maunakea — attended the meeting, providing testimony regarding the issue for several hours. While much of the testimony urged regents to oppose TMT, some criticized the concept of the group, which, as a Permitted Interaction Group, is not required to meet publicly and keep a public record of its discussions.

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“We don’t need the PIG,” said Lilikala Kame‘eleihiwa, a professor at Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies. “We don’t need a private meeting. We can do it like this, we can do it out in the open.”

One regent, Simeon Acoba Jr., opposed the motion, agreeing that discussion about Maunakea should be in the open.

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