'The mullet has been a polarising thing for some time now. But if that's what New Zealand wants, I'll have to oblige.'
Jack Goodhue’s famous mullet has long been credited for making him run faster, boosting overall sporting performance and increasing his attractiveness.
Now the All Black from Kawakawa in Northland with the most talked-about tresses in New Zealand is using his superpower to help Northland’s vulnerable youth as part of a fundraising campaign which will see the public decide whether he keeps his mullet or shaves it off.
Goodhue recently teamed up with the Bald Angels Charitable Trust and launched the Summer of the Mullet campaign which encourages residents to grow a mullet to raise $100,000 for the Far North charity which supports at-risk youth and needy families via its various networks and programmes.
“I wanted to do something special for the kids of Northland that need a bit of direction and hope,” Goodhue said.
“Unfortunately in Northland some kids don’t have positive role models to help them.”
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The social media campaign kicked off this week and aims to get people talking about, and growing, mullets over summer.
There will be categories for the prettiest, longest, vintage and baby mullets, along with sections for w?hine and first responders.
The campaign will culminate in late February with a Mullet in the Park event, likely to be held in Kerikeri, where the fate of Goodhue’s hair will be decided via votes from the public.
Funds raised will help Bald Angels develop its KiwiMana Kai?rahi programme, which, by providing trained mentors for at-risk youth, helps build their self-respect, life skills and resilience.
Goodhue, who was born and raised in Kawakawa, said he got on board after hearing about the charity’s work from his dad Bernard.
Passionate about mentoring, Goodhue has also been working with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Christchurch, a similar mentoring programme, since 2017.
“The Bald Angels is a fitting charity for me,” he said.
“Mentoring gives kids a bit of direction and helps shape positive values in their lives. It gives them life skills to help them achieve what they want to.”
“The boys have grown up playing 7s and coming back from 15s is not as difficult. However, there are elements that are needed for them to be able to compete at that level having moved to 15s."
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) December 30, 2019
Bald Angels founder Therese Wickbom said she’s excited about the campaign.
“All our youth have value and skills and they can be whatever they want to be. But they need us to help and we need to be there walking that path with them.
“We’re absolutely thrilled that Jack feels the aroha for the youth of Northland and that he’s keen to work with us to make a difference. He’s a compassionate young man.”
Goodhue’s mullet made an unprecedented number of domestic and international headlines during his Rugby World Cup debut in Japan.
It was also endorsed by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who wrote on Instagram after the All Blacks thrashed Ireland: “That’s a brilliant win … for the All Blacks and mullets everywhere.”
Goodhue is candid about what makes a good mullet, which is short at the front and sides, but left long at the back and defined the 1980s.
“You need to keep the front business-like and respectful,” he said.
“For the back, just let it be. Don’t try and control the party at the back.”
All Blacks have got their final man just in time for Christmas https://t.co/tUKOMN8uk3
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) December 24, 2019
The advantages of sporting a mullet are many and include boosting sporting performance and making you “50 per cent more attractive”, he said.
“The only disadvantage is everyone looking at you because they’re jealous.”
Ezra McNaught reckons he can run faster too, ever since his mum cut his hair into a mullet a few weeks ago.
The Kerikeri Primary student who is playing in the under 9s this year said: “I thought the idea of growing a mullet was pretty cool.”
Northland YES co-ordinator Gary Larkan said though he’s not confident his hair would grow enough to warrant a mullet he’s supportive of the initiative.
Larkan reckons Goodhue should retain his famous locks if possible.
“When he came back on the scene with it, I thought good on him because he’s made them popular again. More power to him if he can get it even more radical.”
Goodhue heads back to Christchurch on January 11 to resume training with the Crusaders.
And though he hopes to have more time with his mullet, he is ready to let it go.
“The mullet has been a polarising thing for some time now. But if that’s what New Zealand wants, I’ll have to oblige. The main thing is we’re raising money for the kids.”
Jack’s top 5 mullet-growing tips
Initiate it: make the decision and commitment
Resilience: understand friends and family will give you a hard time to start with
Perseverance: never give up
Use good hair product: Jack suggests a good shampoo and hair oil
New All Blacks coach Ian Foster has been signed on a two-year contract, which could open the door for new recruitment come the end of 2021:
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