TMT: State, county ‘have not demonstrated that they are able to provide safe, sustained access to Maunakea for everyone’

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After Gov. David Ige’s press conference announcing that construction will not move forward at this time, the Thirty-Meter Telescope group released a statement.

“The decision to open the Mauna Kea Access Road should not be predicated on TMT’s timing to start construction. Maunakea access should be open to everyone. It’s a state road and hunters, hikers, locals looking to snow play, visitors, cultural practitioners, astronomers, commercial tour operators and stargazers should expect no less from State and County government. 

“Over the last five months, we participated in frequent discussions with the State on finding a peaceful, lawful and non-violent way forward on Maunakea. We don’t want to put our workers, the people of Hawaii, and the protestors at risk. Unfortunately, the state and Hawaii County have not demonstrated that they are able to provide safe, sustained access to Maunakea for everyone. For us, this dates all the way back to our groundbreaking in October 2014 and subsequent attempts to begin construction in April and June 2015 and in July 2019.  

“We are sensitive to the ongoing struggles of indigenous populations around the world, and we will continue to support conversations around TMT and the larger issues for which it has become a flashpoint. We are participating in private conversations with community leaders, but these conversations will take time. 

“Maunakea remains our preferred site. The project and our individual partners are committed to moving forward in a manner that honors and supports our scientific goals, environmental stewardship and the traditions and culture of Hawaii.”

Dr. Gordon Squires, TMT Vice President for External Relations

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