Barbershop owners will continue to struggle when NZ moves to Level 3

By Jessica Tyson

People are going to have to continue cutting their own hair at home since hair salons and barbershops are to stay closed when the country moves to Alert Level 3 next week.

Stars of the Māori Television show The Barber Shop, Peleti Oli-Alainu'uese and his wife Jonique, say their time in lockdown has been difficult for the business.

“The unknown has been the most difficult about re-opening our shop and what it means for our business coming out of COVID.”

They have five staff working under them as contractors at their salon in Hastings.

“We’ve never been through a situation like this. We’ve had to guide everyone about how we can go about getting assistance and what we can do to keep positive," says Jonique.

“We have weekly catch ups with our team and just check in on them and see how they’re going at home.”

Jonique explains their staff were able to access the wage subsidiary from government.

“We’re so very grateful that it is available, especially for our staff in particular. Our shop is their only source of income and some of them are fathers, some of them have families so we are very grateful.”

Jonique and Peleti say they are working together with their staff to plan a re-opening of the salon when the time is right.