Officials Remove Construction Vehicles and Equipment from Maunakea

Officials Remove Construction Vehicles and Equipment from Maunakea

Vehicles and machinery that was sitting idle at the Mauna Kea ever since the protestors started to protest against the construction of Thirty Meter Telescope on the mountain have been removed.

Native Hawaiian opposed the construction of TMT, the $1.4 billion project, as they said that Mauna Kea is a sacred mountain and construction of the TMT will be an offence and disrespect to the scared mountain.

The protestors demanded to bring down the construction machinery and vehicles from the site after the state Supreme Court earlier this month invalidated the project’s permit to build on conservation land of the Big Island volcano.

The telescope officials announced on Wednesdays that they will be bringing down the construction equipments from the mountain top.

Henry Yang, chair of the TMT International Observatory Board of Governors, said in a statement that they respect the Hawaiian Supreme Court decision and neighbors and stewards of the mountain.

Richard Naiwieha Wurdeman, the lawyer representing the group challenging the permit, said, “Yang’s comments are quite interesting because if TMT was motivated by being good neighbors and stewards, the construction equipment would have never been up on Mauna Kea to begin with”.

Richard said that TMT needs to be open with the public, and the reason why TMT is removing the large construction equipment from Mauna Kea is because the law demanded it.

Mechanics went to the site on Tuesday to carry out some maintenance and repair work on vehicles, said Scott Ishikawa, a telescope spokesman.