The Spinoff 15 Oct 2020

“Barbering saved my life,” says Peleti Oli-Alainu’uese.

He might be Hastings’ first Pasifika city councillor, with his own TV series, but he assures me he’s just a normal guy from Flaxmere who likes to cut hair. 

And he’s now joining forces with a South Auckland barbershop aiming to help others in his profession become better at supporting men with their relationship and mental health issues, just as he’s been helped by fellow barbers.

“There’s not a lot of safe places for men to be themselves, because you’ve got to be strong, you’ve got to be the provider, you can’t be weak,” he says. “But with the resurgence of barbering, it’s a place where men can have that banter, and when you get a room full of men who are waiting in line, and the conversation sparks, you feel really safe, and you can relate with each other.”

To equip other barbers to be able to support their clients, and each other, Oli-Alainu’uese arranged a get-together of more than 20 barbers from across Auckland, hosted by his mate “Fitz” at the twosevenfive barbershop in Māngere. Read More