In response to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser recent poll, VP of external affairs, Gordon Squires had this to say:
These poll results do not deter or discourage us because we strongly believe they reflect responses to a number of issues beyond TMT. Those issues include the desire among some Native Hawaiians for self-determination, a belief that there has been mismanagement of Maunakea in the past, and community concerns about citizens acting unlawfully and where that might lead. TMT, its supporters and its protestors have become caught in a perfect storm wherein TMT is an icon for those issues.
When we first came to Hawaii more than a decade ago with a vision for Hawaii’s future in astronomy, we were aware of the issues related to self-determination and land management. We heeded those concerns, and others that arose during numerous sessions with residents across Hawaii. We listened carefully and responded with solutions. The resulting site selected, which is 600 feet below the summit; the physical design plan; and the education and workforce programs all stand to benefit Hawaii and all residents, without negative impact, now and into the future.
We believe the exhaustive public process and legal review was worth the entire 10-plus years it took. TMT brought together scientific minds and community hearts to create something of which Hawaii can be proud. TMT is grateful for the community’s support and we believe this poll does not reflect their commitment, which we know full well through their advocacy and public as well as personal communication.Full poll story here