The shift is also clear among Native Hawaiians. In 2018, the Star-Advertiser reported that 72% of Native Hawaiians supported the TMT being built on Mauna Kea. Civil Beat’s 2019 poll showed that number dropped to 44%, a 28% decrease. Significantly, 48% of Native Hawaiians were in opposition to TMT being built on Mauna Kea (with 4% being undecided and 4% being indifferent).
More telling is that when asked a different question, even more people support the stance of the kiaʻi protecting Mauna Kea. Civil Beat reports that only 50% of those polled oppose the protests against the TMT, while 43% of those polled support the protests.
People polled also recognize the significance of this issue to Native Hawaiians. When asked about how the potential negative impact of the TMT on Native Hawaiian cultural practices affects their overall opinion of the project, 34% of those polled said that such considerations are “very important,” 29% said “somewhat important” and 27% said “not important.”
When you look at these poll results in concert, those polled seem to see that Hawaiians have a special stake in the future of Mauna Kea. And if so, shouldn’t Native Hawaiians have a stronger voice in determining what happens next?