Hawaii DOT Removes Illegal Structure on Mauna Kea

Sep 6, 2019

Updated: Sept. 6, 1:45 p.m.

State officials Friday morning tore down a structure at the base of Mauna Kea that was unlawfully constructed on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands property.

The Department of Transportation said the wooden structure was built on a lava field near the main camp of protestors at Pu`u Huluhulu as part of the anti-Thirty Meter Telescope protests.

Officials said two people were also arrested. 

With deputy sheriffs and Hawaii County police officers standing by, bulldozers dismantled the house-like structure as protesters sang songs and yelled at those taking apart the structure. At one point, a protest leader urged the demonstrators to remain clam.

The DOT says the structure was unpermitted and presented potential health, safety and environmental concerns. Crews are removing the structure at the request of the DHHL with the support of public safety department sheriff’s deputies and Hawaii County police officers.

Hawaiian Homes Commission Chairman William Aila on Tuesday said law enforcement officials notified the protesters that the structure was unpermitted.

Meanwhile, Hawaii County police say that traffic on the Daniel K. Inouye Highway is moving slowly around the Mauna Kea Access Road due to congestion on the roadway.   

The Department of Natural Resources released photos and video of the demolition.

DHHL Unpermitted Structure Removal, Sept. 6, 2019 from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.