I’m from Puna. My ‘ohana live in Puna, and my keiki were raised here.


Aloha Kākou

I am Matt Kāneali‘i-Kleinfelder, your Puna council member for District 5.

From Kalapana to Volcano – it has been an honor and a privilege to be your councilmember and serve our community for the past 2 years.

I am humbled by the aloha I’ve received from each person along the way.

The beauty and diversity in our community are what makes Hawai‘i special.

The Why

I’m from Puna. My ‘ohana live in Puna and my keiki were raised here.

We drive the same road and work the same jobs. I understand the challenges because I face them as well.

The past few years have been challenging for us.

In 2016 we endured Hurricane Iselle. 

In 2018 we lost Officer Bronson Kaliloa and a large part of Puna to an eruption.

In 2019 the world turned its attention to Mauna Kea.

Now, in 2020, we find ourselves in a COVID-19 pandemic.

I am humbled by the opportunity to  represent Puna and ask for your trust in the future.

We must continue to work together to effectively address the challenges life presents to all of us.


After Hurricane Iselle and the eruption my wife and I delivered hot meals, water, and dry goods for weeks.

In 2018, during the Puna eruption, my wife and I delivered food to our first responders until the community was able to establish a working emergency kitchen.

I will always offer what I have to others.

In July of 2018, Officer Kaliloa was tragically killed in the line of duty. This was a huge blow to our police force and the people of Puna. We have struggled for years with crime and level of service. In my first term, I vowed to make our safety a priority. In the first budget cycle, I overcame decades of budgetary restrictions and increased our Puna police patrol by 10 positions.

In 2019, the people of Hawai‘i County were told that TMT would not be a county issue. It became one of the largest issues to face our county and state. I fought to ensure that our police could safely continue their level of service to our community and that the county of Hawaii followed correct procedure.

I will always ask the hard questions. 

The COVID19 pandemic is the major health and economic issue facing the County of Hawai‘i. The reality is that revenues will be significantly decreased over the next 12-18 months. Our county suffered a $40 million shortfall. This will have a dramatic effect on county programs and our way of life. My experience as a business owner and councilmember will bring strength to the council seat for Puna and our county.

I will always make sure our community’s safety is first and foremost.


Our future starts by ensuring  our people’s health and rebuilding our economy. Right now, we need local jobs for local people.  At a minimum, 15% of our state is unemployed; a minimum of 20,000 people in our county alone. This is a serious issue.

Our island needs stability and continuity in leadership.

I strongly support our local businesses; they are the backbone of our economy and offer jobs to local families. At the end of the day, it boils down to keeping the money on-island and in the hands of local families.

 As a business owner, I understand the challenges that COVID19 is creating in our community.

Our reliance on outside support is our achilles heel. We have to focus on our strengths: Agriculture, renewable energy, our keiki and aloha. Leaders must make decisions that will better the world for our grandchildren’s children.

We plant trees, not for ourselves, but for future generations.

Our Future

Our world has changed and we need to adapt. Our people are facing challenges from COVID19, climate change, resource management, social disparity, and cost of living. It’s time for our county to invest in renewable energy, grow our agriculture, nurture our communities, and find our roots. We have to be open to change, because change we must. We need fresh ideas with new perspectives on past experience. We will need smart veteran leaders to guide us through these challenging times.

I ask for your trust as a leader for our keikis tomorrow.

In my first term in office I was able to:

  • overcome years of budgetary restrictions and increase our Puna Police patrol by 10 positions
  • create awareness in human trafficking and validate the challenges facing our keiki and ohana
  • incorporate public opinion in County decision making
  • provide grants to individuals and businesses affected by COVID19
  • increase transparency in government processes

The COVID19 pandemic is a major health and economic issue facing the County of Hawai‘i. We should expect to see a significant decrease in revenue for the next 12-18 months. This will have a dramatic effect on county programs and our way of life. My experience as a father, business owner, and council member will bring strength to the council seat for Puna. We must continue to work together to effectively address the challenges COVID19 presents to all of us.

In these unprecedented times, I once again ask for your trust, support and your vote in the Primary Election. Please mail your ballot by August 5 or cast your vote by August 8, 2020.

MAHALO for allowing me to serve you the past two years on the Hawai‘i County Council.

Matt Kāneali‘i-Kleinfelder

If you have any further concerns or questions, please call or text me at (808) 430-7990 or email matt@votematthawaii.com

Support Matt Kanealiʻi Kleinfelder, Puna, District 5