Trustee Keli'i Akina Urges OHA to Recognize its Duty to Native Hawaiians Who Support TMT
News release from OHA Trustee Keli’i Akina, PhD, July 26, 2019
HONOLULU, HI- Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Keli‘i Akina on Thursday voted to approve Action Item BOT #19-11, a resolution authorizing OHA’s administration “to Act Regarding the Rights, Safety and Well-Being of OHA Beneficiaries on Mauna Kea.”
“I agree with the OHA board’s decision to provide some humanitarian support for the safety and rights of its beneficiaries who are on Maunakea, protesting the TMT,” Trustee Akina said. “However, I wish that OHA would also acknowledge its many other beneficiaries who are in favor of building the TMT.”
"Officially, OHA takes no position on the site or construction of the TMT. Accordingly, OHA should affirm the rights of all Hawaiians to express themselves, both those who oppose the TMT and those who support it," Trustee Akina added.
During the OHA Board of Trustees’ discussion of the resolution yesterday, Trustee Akina proposed an amendment that would have acknowledged OHA’s duty to also represent its beneficiaries who support the TMT, as evidenced by a March 2018 scientific survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy of Washington, D.C.
According to the scientific survey, 72% of Native Hawaiians polled expressed support for the telescope.
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this news release are the personal views of Trustee Akina and may not reflect the views of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs or its Board of Trustees.
Keliʻi Akina, Ph.D., is a community leader who is known for the phrase he has coined, "E Hana Kākou" - Let's work together! Over the past several years as a public policy adviser at the legislative, congressional and international levels, Dr. Akina’s mission has been to preserve the Aloha Spirit by which native Hawaiians and people of all races are welcomed and encouraged to work together for a better future for all our keiki. He was elected to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees in November 2016.
 See “Support is building for TMT – even among Hawaiians” by Timothy Hurley, Star Advertiser, March 25, 2018.
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