Why did the university not adopt rules soon after Act 132 took effect on July 1, 2009?
Adopting rules for UH Management Areas has always been a priority for the university. Even in the best of circumstances, new administrative rules take time to draft, incorporate feedback from the community, and process.
Shortly after the legislature granted the university authority to make rules, the Office of Maunakea Management began its work consulting and drafting a set of rules. The drafting process included consultation and meetings with various entities and persons including the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Maunakea Management Board, Kahu Kū Mauna, the Hawaiʻi County Mayor’s Office, and various Native Hawaiian and community organizations from the island of Hawaiʻi.
However, circumstances beyond the university’s control slowed the rule-making process. For example, in 2011, the Board of Land and Natural Resources prohibited ex parte communications among parties (i.e., DLNR and the university) in the first Thirty Meter Telescope conservation district use application contested case. Then in 2016, the governor asked that the rules not be submitted to his office for permission to hold public hearings.
On January 11, 2018, the university received notice from the governor’s office that it could proceed with rule-making. The university proceeded diligently to bring a draft forward to the Board of Regents, which it approved for public hearings at its June 7, 2018 meeting. In due course, the Small Business Regulatory Review Board, on June 20, 2018, also approved the draft rules for public hearing. The university received the governor’s approval to hold hearings on July 10, 2018. The university will hold public hearings in mid-September after providing the required 30-day public notice.