He's the outspoken, fun-loving former radio host and MTV VJ, turned bikie businessman. Jay Reeve has moved out of Auckland and is planning to make his mark on the Bay of Plenty.

Jay Reeve reckons he might just be the luckiest guy you'll ever meet.

And, as he perches on a 2017 Harley-Davidson Lowrider S, the clouds part and he's bathed in the only sunshine on this grey day.

Reeve, with his fun-loving nature, tattoos and leather-swaddled body, is reacquainting himself with his home province of the Bay of Plenty.

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He moved to Mt Maunganui in September last year, from Auckland.

He always knew he wanted to return home, and now he's scouting for ventures.

"I'm shocking," he says of his diverse and ever-changing CV.

He is a former radio host, and MTV Video Jockey (VJ), turned businessman.

Amber Peebles and Jay at the Mile High launch, a party in a plane from NZ to Australia. Photo/ Supplied
Amber Peebles and Jay at the Mile High launch, a party in a plane from NZ to Australia. Photo/ Supplied

As well as co-owning rose wine label, Master of Ceremonies, and a beer line-cleaning business, Cellar Control, he has social media marketing platform, Populr.

Mates with former All Black, Ali Williams, he saw a market six years ago to capitalise on the fanbase of professional rugby players, setting up social media accounts for them, and partnering them with brands.

Populr pioneered digital influence in New Zealand.

Reeve has his own public social media accounts, as does wife, Anna, and their twin boys, Oscar and Hunter, 4.

It's a lucrative business, and the family receive up to eight courier parcels a day, with free merchandise that they're paid to share and promote through selected brand alliances.

"Our house is a f******g tip!" Reeve laughs. "This morning Anna and I got wallets, she got a handbag, I got YSL cologne."

He's now working with Facebook on what will be "an alternative take" on the Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019.

Reeve is the bikie businessman whose social media marketing platform, Populr, pioneered digital influence in New Zealand. Photo / Glenn Manchester
Reeve is the bikie businessman whose social media marketing platform, Populr, pioneered digital influence in New Zealand. Photo / Glenn Manchester

His foresight in social media is to be congratulated, but Reeve won't accept he's clever.

"I know a lot of clever people," he corrects. "Whatever I've done, I've hitched my trailer to very, very clever people."

Clever friends own Batchwell Kombucha, and he's sipping a bottle of "Batchwell Braeburn" during our interview at Tay Street Beach Cafe, which is a block from his rented beach house.

"Have a sip, it's really good for you," he coaxes. "Great for your gut health; goes awesome with gin."

Reeve loves a tipple, likes a laugh.

Despite his success, Reeve disputes he's clever, saying others have helped him along the way. Photo/ John Borren
Despite his success, Reeve disputes he's clever, saying others have helped him along the way. Photo/ John Borren

He is the middle of three children - the only boy - and was born in Cambridge to "beautiful, hardworking individuals" Steve and Jude.

He spent the first seven years of his life in Taranaki, before the family moved to a dairy farm in Te Puna.

"I was a horrible, horrible kid," he recalls. "I didn't even think I'd make the fifth form."

He did finish school though, and at age 21 became a teacher at Tauranga Boys' College.

He was offered a job (he's never had to apply for a job in his life) as a home economics teacher.

A year later, he was offered an opportunity with MTV, after successfully commentating the Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour.

Despite not having "a traditional face for television", he moved to Auckland and travelled around the world on "MTV's credit card" mixing with everyone from Snoop Dogg to Kanye, Dave Grohl, and his childhood hero, Rob Dyrdek, at his ''Fantasy Factory''.

"I did amazing and insane, and brutal things to my body," he recalls. Things are different nowadays.

"I did amazing and insane, and brutal things to my body."

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He's on a diet (he can't eat until 1pm today), and is working out at F45 in the Mount.

He's aged 35, but half-jokes that if he makes it to 70 he'll be "well impressed".

I note he's not aiming too high, to which he notes: "Ah, I've really, really burned the candles at both ends, and in the middle."

Reeve lives life to the full, whether it be mixing with celebrities, or burning rubber on his beloved Harley-Davidson bikes. He's pictured here at Glendhu, just out of Wanaka. Photo/ Glenn Manchester
Reeve lives life to the full, whether it be mixing with celebrities, or burning rubber on his beloved Harley-Davidson bikes. He's pictured here at Glendhu, just out of Wanaka. Photo/ Glenn Manchester

He's young at heart and a people person.

The latter means it takes him forever to leave parties and events: "I like people to think that I'm not just chatting to them and looking over their shoulder waiting for somebody else to swing to, which is very Auckland."

He worked for MTV for five years before deciding it was time for someone else to take the reins. Five years is a long time to be in any role, according to Reeve.

He was starting to move into radio, but before he could announce his departure from MTV, a black envelope was slid to him across a long, oak table at The Langham in Auckland. Inside was a six-month redundancy package.

"That's why I have motorcycles now," he says, with a grin. "I just blew it on a few really good parties. I didn't even have a set of drawers when I met my wife."

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"That's why I have motorcycles now," he says, with a grin. "I just blew it on a few really good parties. I didn't even have a set of drawers when I met my wife."

In fact, he was living out of his Toyota Camry and the home of fellow MTV host, Amber Pebbles, and her husband, Brooke Howard-Smith, when he met former model and alopecia ambassador, Anna, whose name he now has tattooed on his finger.

Jay with Jack Black in 2009 at the Video Music Awards in New York. Photo/ Supplied
Jay with Jack Black in 2009 at the Video Music Awards in New York. Photo/ Supplied

He spent the next six years co-hosting The ZM Drive Show with Paul Flynn ("Flynny"), before a two-year contract with Radio Hauraki Breakfast, which finished last year.

He hasn't ruled out returning to radio, saying he misses working with Flynny.

Could they reunite?

"Oh, it's definitely on the cards."

Reeve gets extra cash from voiceovers and commercials and is one of five brand ambassadors for Harley-Davidson in New Zealand, which includes a free loan of gear and the latest bike, every year.

He bought his current bike, he loved it so much, and he's awaiting a 2018 Sport Glide.

It means countless bikie jaunts on the road here and overseas.

It's lifestyle over bank balance that appeals to the gregarious Reeve, who reckons accountants would shake their heads at him. Photo / Glenn Manchester
It's lifestyle over bank balance that appeals to the gregarious Reeve, who reckons accountants would shake their heads at him. Photo / Glenn Manchester

While living in Auckland, motorcycles were the keen surfer's replacement for the ocean.

"I've always been a big believer in salt water therapy and connectivity. I feel more comfortable in the ocean than anywhere else, so when we moved to Auckland, I supplemented that freedom and that release, and that solitude, with motorcycles."

"I've always been a big believer in salt water therapy and connectivity. I feel more comfortable in the ocean than anywhere else, so when we moved to Auckland, I supplemented that freedom and that release, and that solitude, with motorcycles."

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He is happiest when he's moving. He travels overseas several times a year thanks to having a father-in-law who was a 777 captain for Air New Zealand. He retired this year.

Lifestyle over bank balance appeals to the gregarious Reeve, who reckons accountants would shake their heads at him.

"I'm terrible with money because I don't place a lot of value on it. There's no rhyme or reason to my [spending], no safety nets."

He wants to pass on more than the traditional house to his boys: a desire to live life.

I remind Reeve he should be talking himself up.

"Well, that's the thing," he says. "As much as you can roll a s**t in glitter, you can't polish it up."

How would his friends describe him in three words?

"Red would definitely top the list. Red complexion. A thick neck would probably come in the top three and love. I've got a love for people, the ocean, family."

Reeve is one of five ambassadors in New Zealand for Harley-Davidson, which sees him travel regularly. He's pictured here camping on the Maungamanu Point in Kaikoura. Photo / Glenn Manchester
Reeve is one of five ambassadors in New Zealand for Harley-Davidson, which sees him travel regularly. He's pictured here camping on the Maungamanu Point in Kaikoura. Photo / Glenn Manchester

Two of his Tauranga friends, Matt Croad and Nick Marshall, are partners with Reeve and Anna in their wine label and they've just picked their third vintage.

The foursome have teamed up with "phenomenal" Rod McDonald, from Hawke's Bay Wines: "He made the mistake, like some people do, of feeding that stray cat once, and the cat keeps coming back."

Rose is a "skinny" drink with low residual sugar. "If you like drinking to excess, which I do, it gets you kind of in like a tequila drunk, without the nasty hangover. It gets what we call a 'rose frenzy'.

I ask him to tell readers something that's true, but that almost no one agrees with him on.

"Oh s**t, this could really rip a scab off. I would say that the Warriors are going to make the grand final this year."

What would someone who doesn't like him, say about him?

"My opinions come from my experiences, and my experiences have been a bit more fortunate than most. My positivity can sometimes be seen as an arrogance, or an ignorance. I'm empathetic, but I can't be part of a pity party."

"My opinions come from my experiences, and my experiences have been a bit more fortunate than most. My positivity can sometimes be seen as an arrogance, or an ignorance. I'm empathetic, but I can't be part of a pity party."

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Reeve is not your traditional bloke, and although his wife has her own wedding ring, he too has his own "bling": a handcrafted black diamond ring, with filigree and gun-tooling.

"Anna's ring is exceptional, and every time I look at it I'm reminded of all the things that I could have bought with it," he jives.

''But the happiness it brings her outweighs that obviously."

He's a lucky guy.

"You will find that I'm the luckiest person you'll ever meet."


# Reeve is a "Bond Boy" who will be auctioned at the Ladies Charity Luncheon, in Mt Maunganui, on June 8. The event is sponsored by Indulge and The Hits. Ladies can bid for Reeve to serve their table, raising money for Waipuna Hospice and Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service.