If you step into a special barber in New Plymouth you may see the Minister of Justice getting his New Zealand-famous beard trimmed.

Andrew Little, now an established member of the bearded community, has revealed how he keeps facial hair looking good and said it may have aided a visit to the Middle East earlier this year.

"Like most beard growers, you fall into beard ownership and not by design.

"I tried to grow a beard five or so years ago and it looked dreadful. It was patchy it looked half grown, no consistency," Little said.


Time had passed and there was probably a scientific reason for why his beard had now filled out.

"Now moving into the world of beard ownership there is a need for care and ownership."

He found a barber, Jetcharm Barber Shop and Gentlemen's Quarters, in New Plymouth during his frequent visits, which he says does a fantastic job.

"They use the cut-throat razor to do some sharp lines."

He normally settles on a one and a half trim. It means he can get a good couple weeks of growth.

When he chats with the barber, Lachlan, they talk about surf live saving

"He is a competitive surf life saver, he works on the rubber duckies.

"He is very steeped in Taranaki culture and we connect over that."


The beard may have come in handy during the minister's visit to the Middle East, he said.

"I kept it because in the Middle East having a beard communicates something.

"I was told culturally it goes down very well to other men. It was something worthy of respect more than clean shaven."

After he returned he thought: "I do quite like it".

In April, the previously fresh-faced minister took a Facebook poll to decide on whether his grey-flecked facial hair should stay or go and the result was overwhelmingly positive towards his new look.

Within 24 hours Little had listened to the public and was posing in front of a camera to update his official mugshot with a slightly hairier and more distinguished version of himself.

"The people have spoken and its #TeamBeard by a landslide", he posted.