For Nickie-Leigh Heta (Ngāti Wai/Ngāti Haua), this experience has been over a year in the making and when the date was set for July 13, it made perfect sense to her.
“It's Matariki, it's a New Year so to shave my hair off and to start off a year fresh with the hair gone for me it was quite empowering,” says Heta.
In preparation for the event, the 32-year-old mother of four had quite a special moment that reminded her of the amazing experience she was to about to undergo.
“This morning, waking up and having hair and then preparing to come here and doing my hair up was something that I really enjoyed each moment of…. And just running myself through the process of ‘this is the last time I’m going to have hair for a long while,” she says.
The funds raised from this event will go towards 'Rainbow Place', a specialist child-focused palliative care service that is part of Hospice Waikato.
Rainbow Place is the only one of its kind in the country and serves as a place where young people and their whānau can find care and support throughout this most difficult time.