Hawaii Gov. David Ige released the following statement Friday afternoon regarding the latest development in the Mauna Kea controversy:

Today, the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) leadership informed me that construction will continue to be postponed. Any further announcements about the construction schedule will come from TMT.

My understanding is that TMT followed an almost 7 year planning and permitting process, which included public hearings and community input. Following this process, project permits were issued. The TMT team is legally entitled to use its discretion to proceed with construction.

I understand that not everyone will agree with this and recognize and respect their right to appeal through the court system.

We have used this time to listen and learn about Maunakea from various stakeholders. I learned about other issues that need our attention to create and implement a better plan for the stewardship of Maunakea. This may include:

  • Decommissioning and removing older telescopes and facilities to restore the summit
  • Reducing the level of activity on the summit
  • Integrating culture and science

My administration will be working with the University of Hawaii, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and the community to actively pursue these outcomes.

A moratorium on the TMT construction, first imposed on April 7, was set to end Monday.

Native Hawaiians and environmental groups are protesting the building of the TMT, which would be the 14th and largest telescope on top of Mauna Kea.

Snow along road on the summit of Mauna Kea.  9 april 2015. photograph Cory Lum/CiviL Beat

Snow along road on the summit of Mauna Kea.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

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