Liz Gunn interviews Andre Smith


“Some boys have been here for 14 years” – Andre Smith.

Andre Smith is a New Zealander, an ex-military serviceman, a social media sensation, and now a 501 because of his deportation from Australia – his home for most of his life. He has been placed in a detention centre in Australia, after doing his jail time, awaiting his flight to come home to NZ. Due to Covid-19, he is now unsure when and if, he and his friends will be able to get back to NZ. To pass the time he has started a Tiktok account – Detentioncentrejourney501 – which has over 40k followers now and has accrued millions of views worldwide.

Dre took the police charges on himself to protect his brother. He thought his case would get thrown out, but unfortunately, he was wrongly convicted and got sentenced to 3 years in Aus prison.

While in prison he started a Soldiers support group and a class teaching his fellow Kiwis about Maori language and culture. He is proud of helping out his mates on the inside and makes sure to keep in touch with them.

He looks forward to coming home to NZ to start his business venture and plans to help his fellow detention centre friends settle into their new life in NZ. He would welcome any good Kiwis willing to support these young men who have done their time.

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