The latest draft of the rules comes after years of hearings, testimony and research by UH. Though the rules specifically outline what is and isn’t allowed to take place on the land managed by the university on Mauna Kea, a UH spokesperson said they are not meant to prevent access to the mauna for cultural practices.
The Board of regents released its Mauna kea rules and proposed stewardship resolution Thursday.
The purpose of the more than 1600 page document is to “provide for the proper use, management and protection of cultural, natural and scientific resources of the UH management areas.”
But Andre Perez, one of the kia’i, or protectors, of Mauna Kea said some of the rules are concerning.
“It appears that they are designed to kind of limit activism and civil resistance, which seems to me to be specifically against the protect Mauna Kea movement,” Perez said.
One section prohibits the use of cell phones, two-way radios, wi-fi and even flashlights north of Halepohaku on Mauna Kea.
Perez said another area of concern is the section on traditional Hawaiian cultural rights.
“It’s very vague regarding native Hawaiian traditional customary rights. It has just one section that says they shall not be abridged. It puts the onus on us to have to prove everything,” Perez said.
UH spokesperson Dan Meisenzahl said the rules do not restrict Hawaiian cultural practices.
Meisenzahl added that the rules will not impact the controversial TMT project nor will they affect the kia’i or protectors who have been blocking access to the summit of Mauna Kea since mid July, since they are not on land managed by UH.
Meisenzahl adds that they completion of the rules will fulfill a requirement in the state auditors report and that the rules will help UH be better stewards of the land.
The UH Board of Regents will meet Wednesday, November 6, at the UH Hilo campus to hear public testimony before casting their votes on the proposed rules.
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