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'Learned his lesson': Jailed Auckland radio host released on home detention

Author
Joseph Los'e, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 8 Sep 2023, 5:51PM
Nate Nauer has been released from prison on home detention. (Photo / Brett Phibbs)
Nate Nauer has been released from prison on home detention. (Photo / Brett Phibbs)

'Learned his lesson': Jailed Auckland radio host released on home detention

Author
Joseph Los'e, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 8 Sep 2023, 5:51PM

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Former Mai FM host Nate Nauer has been released from prison just five months into his two-year-nine months’ prison term to continue his sentence on home detention.

The Herald can reveal Nauer - sentenced in May after pleading guilty to six money laundering charges - has been granted home detention.

Arrangements have been made to relocate Nauer to a safe and secure home and for terms of his release on home detention. The sign-off for home detention was granted by Justice Rebecca Edwards.

The once high-profile Radio DJ knowingly laundered $420,000 for the Comancheros gang, mainly via paying cash for luxury vehicles. He did not make any money for himself.

Dave Letele. Photo / Supplied

Dave Letele. Photo / Supplied

BBM Charity boss and friend Dave Letele - who has been a vocal supporter - said home detention, not prison was an appropriate punishment for Nauer.

“Nate knows what he did was wrong and stupid and has certainly learned his lesson from his time in prison,” Letele said.

“While he was waiting for his court case, I had Nate working for the charity and working for the community.

“That is far more beneficial than having a guy incarcerated when he can contribute to society.”

Letele said Nauer will be housed at a safe location and will hopefully be allowed to work for the BBM charity during the day.

He is confident, that once Nauer has completed his sentence, he will make a good contribution to society.

“Everyone deserves a second chance if they make a mistake,” Letele said.

Patched members of the Comanchero gang from Australia have set up a chapter in New Zealand. Photo / Instagram

Patched members of the Comanchero gang from Australia have set up a chapter in New Zealand. Photo / Instagram

“I have spoken to Nate in prison and he’s looking forward to coming out. We don’t kick people when they are down.”

Nauer was sentenced alongside co-offenders Yonghao Huang, a car dealer, and Vetekina Naufahu, brother of the Comancheros’ New Zealand president.

Huang and Nauer pleaded guilty to six charges of money laundering and Naufahu to two. Nauer had interim name suppression but this lifted at sentencing when he did not seek permanent suppression.

Joseph Los’e joined NZME in 2022 as Kaupapa Māori Editor. Los’e was a chief reporter, news director at the Sunday News newspaper covering crime, justice and sport. He was also editor of the NZ Truth and prior to joining NZME worked for 12 years for Whānau Waipareira.

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