Wellington Mayor Justin Lester gets a prune at politically charged salon
Wellington Mayor Justin Lester admitted to being "somewhat tempted" by the suggestion of getting a 1980s inspired mullet, but shied away from it after admitting his wife would be less approving.
Instead, the 37-year-old sat down for a trim while engaging in some healthy political discussion as part of 'Political Cutz'.
Set up in the Public Trust building on Lambton Quay until Saturday, the pop-up salon is offering free professional haircuts to those willing to chew the fat on the big talking points ahead of this month's general election.
The man with the scissors, Jason Muir, described himself as a "politically motivated hairdresser" who wanted politics to be fun and accessible.
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"We decided that we'd like to see more conversations happening in a non-confrontational way and in a non-partisan way around politics.
"We felt that some of those things were missing, which is why perhaps people are disengaging with the political process, particularly amongst youth, so it is a concept that's kind of aimed at that," Muir said.
The salon concept successfully debuted in the lead-up to the 2014 election.
While hairdressing is the core service, there are spaces in the 1980s themed salon for people to chat, watch political films, write questions on large boards, dress up as their favourite politicians and even colour in.
A trained barista is also on hand to serve up cheap coffee.
So far, inequality, poverty and homelessness have been the most common themes mooted for discussion.
Muir and his team of hairdressers were also able to give customers the same hairdo as key figures in New Zealand political history.
"Our number one favourite was, of course, the Koro Wetere comb-over. I love to point out the fact that he started his political career with a beautiful full head of hair and a centre-part and as the toll took itself, his hair disappeared and he was forced to comb it over.
Other distinctive haircuts on offer were suffragette Kate Sheppard's 'Do', Sir Pita Sharples' mullet, Helen Clark's 'bowl' cut and the 'bouff' proudly sported by former prime minister, Dame Jenny Shipley.
"Not to be outdone is the mighty Peter Dunne quiff which, from a hairdressing point of view, is quite a feat," Muir added.
While Lester complimented Dunne's sense of style, the Wellington leader said he would be voting for former Police Association president, Greg O'Connor, to take up Dunne's soon-to-be vacant Ohariu seat.
He was also supporting Labour leader Jacinda Ardern in the race to the polls, and was impressed by her performance against Prime Minister Bill English in Monday's Leaders' Debate in Auckland.
"I thought Jacinda showed a really strong improvement from the first debate ... she was extremely confident, knew her stuff.
"It was evenly matched. I thought Jacinda was slightly ahead in terms of her ability to have an instinctive response, but Bill was very well informed," Lester said.
- Political Cutz is open for business in the old Public Trust Building 10am-4pm until Saturday, but will be open until 6pm Thursday.