Kamehameha Schools Kapālama graduate Tehani Malterre was honored by the Honolulu City Council this morning at Kapolei Hale for her dedication to the local community she now serves as the youngest member of the O‘ahu Neighborhood Board to win a seat via the spring elections.
Prior to graduating from Kamehameha earlier this year, Malterre campaigned and ran for a seat on the Hawai‘i Kai Neighborhood Board No. 1, Subdistrict 9, and was elected while finishing her studies as a senior. The 18-year-old public servant was one of 553 candidates who participated in the Neighborhood Board election process, and decided to run so she could learn more about the important issues impacting her community.
“I am proud of Tehani for her service as one of the youngest elected officials in Honolulu,” Councilmember Tommy Waters said. “She represents a new generation of civic-minded young adults who will shape the future of our city. As a Kamehameha Schools graduate myself, I cannot help but think that the legacy of Princess Pauahi Bishop continues to be carried forward by the efforts of young servant-leaders like Tehani.”
Oahu’s Neighborhood Board System is one of the most sophisticated and impactful in the United States, and was created to increase community participation in the decision-making process of government. Since 1975, Honolulu neighborhood boards have thrived in a system that channels grassroots participation in government, addresses the issues and concerns affecting local communities, and advises the mayor and city councilmembers.
“It’s humbling to watch the next generation of Kamehameha alumni blaze new trails,” said Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Po‘o Kula (Head of School) Dr. Taran Chun. “Tehani’s dedication to make a meaningful impact in her community is a blueprint we want each of our graduates to leave our halls with. We look forward to watching her create the kind of change our state, the nation and the world will need.”
As a neighborhood board member, Malterre will participate in activities ranging from the study and review of capital improvement projects and zoning concerns, to educational programs on governmental decision-making processes that help solidify and elevate the goals, objectives, and priorities of the Hawai‘i Kai community.
“It’s really important for me, and it’s a big responsibility that I’m really looking forward to taking on over the next two years as I represent the community and my family,” said Malterre. “Dr. Chun encouraged us to run, and I thought it was a really good opportunity to get involved and make positive changes. I hope to set a good example and do what is right for our lāhui.”
As a Warrior, Malterre was an exemplary student and servant-leader. She demonstrated teamwork and perseverance as a varsity athlete in cross country, track and field, and an Interscholastic League of Honolulu all-star in Division I-AA girls basketball. She demonstrated an early commitment to public service as a member of the Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Key Club, and was recognized as part of the Kamehameha Chapter of the National Honor Society and attained an Honors Diploma.
Malterre has gained an understanding of and appreciation for the preservation of open spaces and the need for community stakeholders to work together to mālama ‘āina by volunteering with Mālama Maunalua and Livable Hawai‘i Kai Hui, two organizations that promote environmental health and cultural revival within the Hawai‘i Kai community.