Do not be surprised if you see a few freshly shaved heads around town - head shaving events are being held all over Tauranga this week to raise money for Leukemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand.

Long locks are being publicly shaved off around the country, including a number of different events in Tauranga, for the organisation's main fundraiser, Shave for a Cure, which runs this week.

At Otumoetai College on Monday and Tuesday, 10 students submitted to the clippers, raising well over $2000.

And at Bayfair yesterday, a line-up of people bared their scalps while volunteers asked for donations from the crowds.


Mackenzie Latif, 17, said goodbye to her long hair at school on Tuesday, having raised more than $1000 by herself.

Mackenzie said shaving her hair was something she had always wanted to try, but feeling the air on her buzz cut had been a bit of a shock.

"It feels really weird, everyone keeps touching my hair. It feels like velcro," she said.
Her friends said she looked "really cool".

Mackenzie was joined by fellow students Simon Hunt, Luca Soole, Oliver Adams, Jono Bailey, George Robinson, Connor Brown, Spencer Potbury, Parthey Pant and Sam Nicholson in shaving their heads.

Yesterday, Oscar Maybury, 9, shaved his head for a second time.

His mother Bex Manson said Oscar approached her out of the blue last year saying he wanted to take part.

"I'm so proud of him.

"I couldn't be more proud. He's such a super caring and empathetic boy, he's got a heart of gold."

After last year's shave, Oscar grew his hair back - only cutting it once - and lopped it off at Farmers' event.

He raised $605, mostly through Facebook videos.

"I'm doing this because I feel bad for the people with blood cancer," he said.

Leukemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand general manager Georgie Hackett said the organisation always received huge support from the Bay of Plenty, with a lot of "shavees" taking part and lots of donations coming through.

The event has raised about $460,000 nationwide and, with four days remaining, she hoped it would reach half a million.

"We're so grateful for the people right around the country who are doing what they can to help blood cancer patients.

"Everyone has been incredibly generous."

People could fundraise for the organisation year round by doing head shaves, but most happened during Shave Week, Ms Hackett said.

Disease facts

Every day 6 children and adults in New Zealand are diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma or a related blood condition.

There are an estimated 10,000 people living with blood cancer or a related condition in New Zealand.

Blood cancers combined (leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma) are the fifth most common form of cancer in New Zealand.

Leukaemia is the most common childhood cancer while lymphoma is the most common cancer in 15 to 24-year-olds.

Donate to Leukemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand