After suffering years of abuse for his dreadlocks in Parliament Nandor Tanczos has lopped them off.

The former Green MP faced such gibes as "rope-head" courtesy of another former MP, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, while in Parliament from 1999-2008.

"When I left Parliament, I had known that I would have to undergo some kind of purification, cleansing ceremony," the 43-year-old - who has had the dreadlocks almost half his life - told the Dominion Post.

"It was very clear. It was like, now is the time. I felt like my spirit and my psyche had been polluted by the experience."

Mr Tanczos, a rastafarian, lives in a house bus in Ngaruawahia. He was in a forest when he got a message it was time to cut off his dreads.

Rastafarian culture allowed for the locks to be cut as a way of recommitting to the faith after a period of difficulty, he said. "It's not something that one would ordinarily do, but if a person becomes polluted, then it's something that they may well do. It's freed me."

Mr Tanczos has been studying for a postgraduate diploma in management and sustainability at Waikato University and has taken papers in environmental economics and this year will learn Maori.

- NZPA