Napier National candidate Wayne Walford says he had his characteristic ponytail removed this week after it became "a barrier to communication".

Mr Walford, who had sported the ponytail for 10 years, said it was his own decision to have his hair cut.

"At the end of the day my ponytail was becoming a barrier to communication."

A number of people had expressed concern about Mr Walford's long locks, so he removed them as a show of commitment to his campaign.


"For those people who were concerned about it [the ponytail], I needed to show some commitment.

"I really want this role and I'm really committed to this region."

Mr Walford had previously described his ponytail as "a marketing opportunity" and a "unique point of difference", which, when tied back, gave him "a sleek, Italian, modern look".

However, Mr Walford had embraced his new look.

"I do feel different. Now, it'll be a haircut every two weeks."

Napier Labour candidate Stuart Nash was surprised to hear of the ponytail's demise. "This is a guy who said he wasn't concerned about his appearance.

"I never really got the ponytail thing in the first place. Good luck to him, but we're not really focused on his personal appearance - my team is working hard for the people of Napier."

When asked if he would follow Mr Walford's lead, Hawke's Bay Regional councillor Tom Belford, who also wears his hair long, said: "No way! My hair's falling out fast enough as it is".


Mr Belford shared an email he'd received from a HBRC meeting attendee, which read: "You [Mr Belford] looked like you got lost on your way home from Woodstock and have never got home with your sloppy dress and long hair".