National | Hawai'i

Hawaiians protest against construction of $1.4 billion telescope on sacred mountain

Oiwi TV in Hawai'i has reported that protestors against the construction of one of the world's largest telescopes on top of Mauna Kea in Hilo Hawai'i are being arrested by Police.

One of the protestors who spoke to Te Kāea yesterday, Kaho'okahi was arrested along with another community member.

Further reports from Oiwi TV say the situation is getting very heated and emotions are high.

Native Hawaiians are angry with the construction of the telescope which will cost $1.4 billion on top of their scared mountain.

There are already telescopes on the mountain but the brand new telescope is expected to be one of the worlds tallest.

Reporter Wepiha Te Kanawa spoke to Kaho'okahi who is protesting on Mauna Kea.

Kaho’okahu Kanuha says, "This is a desecration of the mountain and the indigenous people."

But Mauna Kea isn't the only place where protesting is happening, students from the University of Hawaii are also showing their support.

The call goes out to their sacred mountain Mauna Kea

Kaho'okahi Kanuha says, “They are attempting to build a very high telescope that goes 2 stories underground digging into and desecrating our Mauna, our sacred aina and again the home of our akua, so what we are attempting to do is to put a stop to that.

They don’t understand the significances of the mauna.  They don’t understand the traditions of it.  They don’t understand the cultural, spiritual and genealogical connections that we have to it and they don’t understand what the TMT (Thirty Metre Telescope) is for.”

Japan, China, Canada and India hope to use the telescope for astrological research.

Kaho'okahi Kanuha says, “At this point there are already 13 telescopes on Mauna Kea and this will be the 14th one and to get an idea of how big this is you could combine every telescope on the mountain right now and it still wouldn't be as big as the telescope that they wish to build.”