Dave Letele | The commuting Book
Dave Letele


Dave Letele (Ngati Maniapoto, Samoa) is a community leader, life coach and motivational speaker based in Tamaki Makaurau, Auckland.

Born the son of Auckland Mongrel Mob leader Big Dave Letele, he once said, “I should definitely be in jail or dead, one of the two … [but] because I’m not, I feel like I’m blessed. I share my story to give hope and help to others.

He played representative rugby league in New Zealand, and professional rugby league in Australia, with teams including the North Sydney Bears, Cootamundra Bulldogs and AS Carcassonne in France, and achieved notoriety as heavyweight boxer The Brown Buttabean.

In 2014, Dave started a 100kg weight-loss journey that would gain him thousands of followers.

This led to him creating Buttabean Motivation (BBM) which has helped thousands more achieve their goals and break the destructive cycles and patterns in their own lives.

Today, Dave delivers targeted health, nutrition, and fitness programmes, youth employment programmes, runs the BBM Foodshare, and fundraises and advocates on behalf of communities in need.
He won the 2022 Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero Of the Year Award Te Pou Toko o te Tau for Auckland Tamaki Makaurau.

He lives in Henderson, Auckland with his wife Koreen and four sons.