The University of Hawaii Board of Regents won’t vote on rules to govern public and commercial activities on Mauna Kea until November.

The university board was expected to vote on a proposed draft of the new administrative rules at a meeting Aug. 30. But that’s been postponed to give board members more time to consider public feedback on the rules, according to a press release.

This is the third time the meeting has been postponed for the same reason in the last two months. The regents were supposed to take a vote on a new draft at a July 18 meeting.

Hilo Bay with the majestic view of Mauna Kea with tiny dots on the summit, the observatories.
A view of Mauna Kea from Hilo Bay. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2019

UH’s management of the mountaintop considered sacred by Native Hawaiians has been the subject of four state audits criticizing the university for its oversight of Mauna Kea.

One of the auditors recommendations has been to adopt a set of administrative rules to better manage activities on the mountaintop.

UH administrator proposed the first draft of the new rules last September. The university made changes to the rules earlier this year after the public raised concerns that they could inadvertently suppress cultural practices.

The university also axed provisions that would have required groups to apply for a permit before accessing the summit. The latest draft of the rules only requires group larger than 10 people to provide information to UH that they plan to travel to Mauna Kea’s summit.

Meanwhile on Mauna Kea, protests against the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope are entering their second month.

The board created a six-member task force earlier this month to study the school’s management of Mauna Kea.

Not a subscription

Civil Beat is a small nonprofit newsroom, and we’re committed to a paywall-free website and subscription-free content because we believe in journalism as a public service.
That’s why donations from readers like you are essential to our continued existence.
Help keep our journalism free for all readers by becoming a monthly member of Civil Beat today.

About the Author