ASSOCIATION OF HAWAIIAN CIVIC CLUBS
No. 2019 – 59
OPPOSING THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAIʻI’S APPLICATION FOR A LEASE EXTENSION, LEASE RENEWAL, OR NEW LEASE FOR THE SUMMIT OF MAUNAKEA NOW KNOWN AS THE MAUNAKEA SCIENCE RESERVE
WHEREAS, the summit of Maunakea is sacred, as acknowledged by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs; and
WHEREAS, the Maunakea Science Reserve is located on the summit of Maunakea; and
WHEREAS, the University of Hawai‘i (UH) currently has General Lease No. S-4191 for the Maunakea Science Reserve; and
WHEREAS, these lands are “ceded” lands, acquired through the illegal overthrow of the
Kingdom of Hawai’i, to which Native Hawaiians have never relinquished their claims, as well as public land trust lands classified under section 5(b) of the Admissions Act;
Whereas, four state audits spanning twenty years have documented and criticized the state and UH’s mismanagement of Maunakea; and
WHEREAS, the initial audit from 1998 concluded that “little was done” to protect the natural resources on Maunakea since the first telescope was constructed in 1968, and that UH did not allocate sufficient resources to protect Maunakea’s natural and cultural resources because it focused primarily on astronomy development; and
WHEREAS, in a 2010 Final EIS, UH conceded that from a cumulative perspective, past, present and reasonably foreseeable future activities on Maunakea resulted and will result in substantial and adverse impacts to the Mauna’s cultural, archaeological, historical, and natural resources and sites; and
Whereas, in 2015, the leadership of both the state and UH publicly admitted to their management failures, with Governor David Ige conceding that the state has “not done right by” and “failed” the mountain, and UH President David Lassner stating that UH “has not yet met all of [its] obligations to the mountain or the expectations of the community”; and
WHEREAS, as detailed in OHA’s 2017 lawsuit against the state and UH, UH has failed to fund proper management of Maunakea and prudently negotiate sublease terms;
WHEREAS, UH has failed to create an environment respectful of Maunakea’s cultural landscape, including by not adequately protecting Native Hawaiian traditional and customary rights and practices on Maunakea;
WHEREAS, UH has failed to manage access to Maunakea and activities on Maunakea, which has led to vehicular accidents, personal injuries and deaths, and hazardous material spills, among other incidents; and
WHEREAS, current plans for construction of a new telescope in the Maunakea Science Reserve identify an expected completion date of July 20, 2027, fewer than six years before the UH lease expiration in 2033, at which time an extension or new lease would need to be granted in order to make the project viable, leading to speculation of agreements circumventing due process and using it to pressure the state into a new lease agreement; and
WHEREAS, on November 6, 2019, the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents (UH BOR) voted on the adoption of Chapter 20-26 Hawaiʻi Administrative Rules for Maunakea entitled “HAWAIʻI ADMINISTRATIVE RULES TITLE 20 UNIVERSITY OF HAWAIʻI SUBTITLE 1 UNIVERSITY OF HAWAIʻI BOARD OF REGENTS CHAPTER 26 PUBLIC AND COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES ON MAUNA KEA LANDS,” in spite of significant opposition from Native Hawaiian constituency; and
WHEREAS, the current UH BOR and its decisions have not been favorable to, nor taken into serious consideration the needs of and responsibility to, the Native Hawaiian Community, the Native Hawaiian Culture, or the indigenous peoples of Hawaiʻi; and
WHEREAS, the promises of economic opportunity for Hawaiʻi have been prioritized over the responsibility to defend against desecration, and the responsibility to the advancement of those of Native Hawaiian descent.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs at its 60th Annual Convention in Lahaina, Maui, in the malama of Welehu and the rising of Lāʻau Pau, this 16th day of November 2019, opposing the University of Hawaiʻi’s application for a lease extension, renewal, or new lease for the summit of Maunakea now known as the Maunakea Science Reserve; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this resolution be transmitted to the chair of the University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents, as well as the Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, President of the State Senate, Speaker of the State House of Representatives, Chair of the State Senate subject matter committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the State House subject matter committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and all County Mayors.
The undersigned hereby certifies that the foregoing Resolution was duly adopted in the malama of Welehu and the rising of Lāʻau Pau on the 16th day of November 2019, at the 60th Annual Convention of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs in Lahaina, Maui.
Hailama V. K. K. Farden, President