'Get ready for change' - Dave Letele

By Tumamao Harawira

From the boxing ring to community leader, Dave Letele says the time has come.

Community advocate Dave Letele (Ngāti Maniapoto) has thrown his hat in the ring for this year's local body elections. Letele is standing for the Manurewa Local Board in local elections taking place in October.

Letele says his decision to stand is a natural progression for him and will enable him to reach more people who need help in one of the most deprived areas in Auckland.

"Get ready for change - it's coming," he says.

"People like us, we're outside throwing rocks at the house, at the system. Every now and again we get a win, we smash a window. But, to really make change, we have to be at the table."

Local hero Dave Letele is ready for his next journey. 

The 2022 New Zealand Local Hero of the Year, who designed the BBM programme to help people better their lives through exercise, is joining the Manurewa Action Team ticket.

"We're a team of action. That's all we're about. What we want to do is, instead of spending millions of dollars on a cycleway, we want to invest it into the community. Put food on the table of vulnerable families, communities."

And with Manurewa one of the poorest areas in the country, there are massive challenges.

"There is crime, there is homelessness, there is prostitution. Every social issue, we are at the heart of it right here. But there are great people here."

Letele says only by a committed effort by local and national bodies will there bea  lasting change for residents of Manurewa.

"These community organisations need to work together, along with business and government. No one organisation can do it alone."