"Eew, there's holes in the back of his head," Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai exclaimed as her expertly wielded clippers lopped off the hair of husband Mike Regan and exposed his scalp.
The very public shearing at Farmers' store at lunchtime yesterday was in aid of the nationwide Leukemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand's fundraising drive, Shave for a Cure.
While Mr Regan was happy to lose his hair - even admitting he'd like to keep his head shaved but his wife doesn't like it - he balked loudly at suggestions from onlookers that his beard should go too. The demonstration by Ms Mai and Mr Regan, who were introduced by MC, radio host Angela "Flash" Gordon as "Whangarei's First Couple", kicked off the event in which several volunteer hair-losers keep three Rodney Wayne hairstylists busy with the clippers. The hair company's founder, Rodney Wayne, was also on hand to support the proceedings and - ironically - hand out goody bags of free hair products to the new baldies.
"Straight up the middle," was the advice Mr Wayne gave the mayor as she began on her husband's head.
He then told the crowd that Ms Mai had done such a great job he'd happily give her a job should she ever need one.
Whangarei Rodney Wayne salon owner Kathryn Darroch said she was thrilled with the response to the Shave for a Cure from her staff, the public, Farmers and Rodney Wayne New Zealand's top brass, three of whom came to Whangarei to support the event.
Also there to add colour and grit were five residents of the Falls Lifestyle Village who underwent the clippers at their own Shave for a Cure fundraiser earlier in the week. The Falls residents raised $1353. Ten Farmers stores in New Zealand hosted shave events this week, the company having helped raise more than $300,000 since it partnered with Leukemia and Blood Cancer NZ (formerly Leukemia Foundation) in 2008.
More than $1000 was raised at yesterday's event. Nationwide $746,000 has been raised this week.