audio close compressed excel CS_logo_icon_solid_yellow_alt Created with Sketch. x x image insta-black menu pdf Print BTN - Shortlist Created with Sketch. Share Asset 1 word


Life Coach & Founder of The BBM Program

If your WHY is strong enough, you can overcome anything.

Former professional boxer, Dave Letele (AKA Brown Buttabean), is a South Auckland community leader who uses his platform to advocate for families in need.

Having grown up with a father who was the president of the Mongrel Mob and in and out of prison throughout his childhood, Dave understands what it means to struggle.

It took Dave a near-death experience to pull him out of a downward spiral. From there, he embarked on a journey that led to him owning several businesses, playing rugby league all over the world, becoming a professional boxer, losing almost 100 kg in body weight, and starting over.

Dave is an inspiration to thousands of Kiwis, achieving his transformation purely through hard work and dedication. Starting his platform via his private Facebook group where over 10,000 people have achieved life-changing levels of weight loss, Dave went on to found his company Buttabean Motivation (BBM), where he and his team are currently working with public health and social service providers across Auckland to deliver his highly effective BBM programs to improve the health outcomes for obese people.

Often consulted by the media, and even the former Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, Dave’s bold and no-nonsense approach has changed thousands of lives in his community and around New Zealand. In 2022, Dave was awarded with the Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the year Award for his incredible work across Aotearoa.

Nothing quite beats a real story straight from the heart, Dave will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions where you will come out the other side understanding the power of determination, perseverance, hard work, taking that first step and hope! Let Dave inspire your audience.

Talking Points

Business Acumen

Dave Letele knows what it’s like to come from nothing to build an empire, only to lose it all again. His ability to transform underperforming businesses into successful ventures was recognised in Australia, but he learned hard lessons about developing the right frameworks and systems to support and build on that success.

Returning to New Zealand in 2014 with only the clothes on his back, he has rebuilt his life in the service of his people, blazing a trail for community-led initiatives that bring the community, business, and government agencies together in new and innovative ways.

Dave’s instinctive business acumen is a rare gift, and he now uses it to build organisational change within the community sector and build long-lasting, positive outcomes for those who need it the most.


Are leaders born, or are they made? Dave Letele grew up surrounded by gang leaders who inspired their people to be successful in their pursuits, but their focus wasn’t always on law-abiding initiatives.

Starting with his high school days training to be a future NRL rugby league player, Dave Letele has done the hard yards in leadership. He has learned what makes great leaders, and what inspires others to achieve great things for themselves.

Dave’s unconventional start in life has enabled him to think of different ways to achieve success, and to embrace failure as a teacher. His willingness to be vulnerable and to ask for help shows his strength as a leader, and as a human being. His relentless positivity to change lives has made a difference to thousands of people across New Zealand, and he’s just getting warmed up.


When Dave Letele admitted to himself that his life had hit rock bottom, that’s when his motivational journey began. Re-inventing himself as prize fighter “The Brown Buttabean” Dave embarked on a fitness journey that would prove life-changing for himself and for the thousands of “Buttabeaners” who wanted to go with him.

From living in a sleep-out in South Auckland, to owning his own home; and creating a thriving social movement that brings together his community, business, and Government agencies, Dave Letele is the most unconventional motivational speaker you’ll meet. He tells hard truths and motivates people to deliver great outcomes - together.
He was great enthusiastic high energy and a really great story with positive take homes. TrailLite

Dave was awesome, well matched for us, connected so well with our audience and had a lot of strong motivating messages. He even got hugs from our guys afterwards, and the vibe after he left was uplifting!


Dave’s relentless positivity is contagious, which makes him a perfect fit for our Leadership Development workshop. Dave’s life story is remarkable and as a guest speaker he strikes a perfect balance between being an incredibly engaging storyteller whilst weaving in messaging around hard-work and the importance of community and perseverance. All of which resonates perfectly with our team and has been having a really meaningful impact.

Silver Fern Farms

Dave was fabulous! He had a great vibe and was very relatable! He was inspiring!! We all loved him!

People Potential

An inspiring story, from an inspiring man.


On behalf of the Counties Manukau Health, Mental Health Leadership team, I just want to extend our heart-felt thanks to you for managing to organise Dave Letele to speak to us last Thursday evening. He was sincere, real, and passionate about ‘his’ people; and utterly captivating. His narrative was very informative and emotional and reinforced the many gaps in the Health system, and in particular within the mental health and addictions wrap-around services. In all his busy’ness his time and insights were greatly appreciated.

Counties Manukau Health

Dave was engaging and inspirational! Our team walked away wanting to do more to make a difference.

NZ Underwriting Agencies

Dave was very engaging, and we had great feedback from the attendees. He is very real in his presentation - no airs or graces just tells it how it is and I think a lot of people appreciated that. He also has a good sense of humour and was very entertaining. Would highly recommend for any event.

Prosper Group

Dave is a fantastic speaker with an inspiring message. It is indeed possible to turn our lives around. Dave had our group fully engaged for the entire session. The message hits home for everyone, on different levels. Really enjoyed his delivery style and that he left us with a message, and a call to action. Start now. Help someone. Ask for help. It was great to have Dave speak at our event.


Nothing was too much trouble for Dave. His interaction with our College students was amazing to witness as he built an instant rapport with them. I will never forget it. The guests at our evening event gave only positive feedback re his presentation, Otorohanga LOVED him!


Dave made immediate connections with the audience. The teachers were moved by his stories, and gained an insight into the difficulties many tamariki face beyond the school gates. We were impressed with Dave's enthusiasm, dedication and his "no excuses" message. His chants were repeated often throughout the conference.

National Resource Teacher of Literacy Association

Dave Letele is an exceptional speaker his story is incredibly touching and his message is relatable to all regardless of how diverse your audience is. Dave conveys his message with passion, our audience cried and laughed with him as he shared his personal mental health journey, we left feeling inspired & motivated to be better for ourselves and kinder to others. We will definitely be booking Dave in future.

Profile Group

It was great to have him there and there were so many who wanted to acknowledge his work in the community. Dave’s presentation landed very well, he has a strong message and was very inspirational for those present. I have seen his presentation before but it still continued to wow me and the audience. I know I thanked Dave at the time but will also send a message to him thanking him for his time and energy.

Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu

Exciting, riveting, emotive, relatable. A great way to round off our Red Stag Timber Site Safety Day 2023, 400 attendees.

Red Stag Timber

Everyone has given us great feedback about the night and Dave's speech. Engaged well with the audience and lifted the evening. Very accommodating with being called up and off of stage throughout the night. Very glad we booked Dave to speak at our night.

Botany Downs Secondary College

Really enjoyed Dave's contribution to our event. He totally adapted to his audience and his presentation was perfect. He is an engaging inspiration.

New Zealand School Trustees Association
Let us know

and we'll send all the latest Celebrity Speakers updates and news direct to your inbox
Thanks, you have been subscribed
View Shortlist