Is an 'old fashioned' Wellington barber refusing female customers sexist?

A Wellington barber has courted controversy on social media after he refused to cut a female customer's hair on the basis of his barber shop being an "old fashioned" business.

The outrage from some online over the refusal was inflamed by the fact the female customer concerned actually wanted a typically male short back and sides cut.

On TVNZ1's Breakfast today Diversity Works chief executive Bev Cassidy-McKenzie discussed whether the Wellington barber's "esclusivity" with his customers constitutes gender discrimination.

"What we have seen is that exclusivity can be quite short sighted given the demographics of New Zealand," Ms Cassidy-McKenzie says.

"I think he's clear of what it is he wants in terms of his choice of customer but I think when he talks about "old fashioned" I don't think he's being clear about the customer he's actually wanting.

"If we look at the customer he's actually targeting, which is men only. But he has been very specific about not just men only but the people that he is turning away.

"We've got generational change happening in New Zealand and through that generational change people want the ability to either bring their whole selves to work, or take their whole selves and use their consumer dollar, which they have power over, to use it in a way that they like best."

"If he is saying, for example, it is for men only then some of those men need to identify 'do I need to hide who I really am?' when I go into that because they don't cut women's hair.

"So, I might be gay, I'll just be a real man's man when I go in there because that's what I have to get my hair cut by a certain person that I like."   

Share you opinion on the fairness of the Wellington barber "exclusive" customer policy on the 1 NEWS Breakfast Facebook page.

CEO of Diversity Works, Bev Cassidy-McKenzie discusses if a Wellington barber’s refusal of a female customer is discriminatory. Source: Breakfast

Northland teen warns others to know signs of toxic shock syndrome after her frightening experience

A Northland teenager is urging others to become more familiar with the symptoms of toxic shock syndrome associated with tampon use after her own life was put at risk last year.

Grace Morgan, 16, was diagnosed with the potentially-fatal illness in July.

She's one of several girls who have come forward after Hamilton teen Chloe Jordan's story emerged in the past two weeks.

Grace, a Whangarei student, was hospitalised for five days suffering kidney, heart and liver failure.

Chloe Jordan is back home after a week in hospital, suffering acute kidney failure which has been linked to tampons. Source: 1 NEWS

She had been using using tampons for about a year and a half and hadn't experienced any previous problems.

Grace's symptoms included vomiting, diarrhoea and a rash across her chest.

"I went to White Cross. We thought it may have been food poisoning because I had eaten a filled roll the previous day and then they took my heart rate and they weren't happy about it," she said.

Grace was rushed to Whangarei Hospital.

Kotex says it's the first two cases it's been made aware of since launching the brand. Source: 1 NEWS

"Toxic shock tends to look like a whole lot of other things - it can look like measles or food poisoning, so it took them a while to work out what was going on," Grace said.

Grace and her Mum don't blame tampon manufacturers Libra and haven't bothered to contact them, saying only a very small percentage of women suffer from the illness.

Grace says she was made aware of TSS at school and on the warning pamphlet included in tampon packaging.

Grace has been warned by her doctor never to use tampons again and is advising others not to either.

Grace Morgan was admitted to hospital with a wide range of symptoms, which doctors initially thought could be measles Source: 1 NEWS


Scorching temperatures over 30C expected in South Island today, magnifying fire risk in Otago

Emergency services across Otago are on high alert as scorching temperatures increase the risk of fire across the South Island.

Some areas are forecast to reach over 30C today, including Christchurch, 34C, Dunedin, 33C , Kaikoura, 30C, and Ashburton, 34C.

In the North Island it's also expected to reach 30C in Hastings and Gisborne.

But nowhere across the country is set to escape the heat, with Auckland forecast for 26 degrees and Wellington 24.

An aerial view of Wanaka, on New Zealand's South Island.
An aerial view of Wanaka, Otago, on New Zealand's South Island. Source: Getty

NIWA Weather also reported the 37.6 degrees registered in the Central Otago town of Clyde yesterday was New Zealand's hottest January temperature in 14 years, since Darfield reached 38.4 in January 2004.

But from tomorrow it could go from one extreme to the other with Tropical Cyclone Fehi expected to arrive.

The Category One Tropical Cyclone Fehi formed around New Caledonia on Monday this week.

While it is predicted to weaken and cross the South Island on Thursday, it should bring with it very heavy rain and wind as it approaches the western coastline.

Power outages, flooding and high winds are forecast.

Yesterday, MetService warned to expect a slew of strong wind watches and warnings to be issued this morning across the country.

The hot weather is also having a big impact on New Zealand's "water tower" glaciers.

The high temperatures in the South Island are having a concerning effect on glaciers and ice fields, according to University of Otago researchers.

A research team has just returned from the ice fields - The Gardens of Eden and Allah - which straddle the Southern Alps and feeds major rivers such as the Rakaia and Rangitata in Canterbury and Whanganui.

Researchers say that these glaciers are our water towers and once the snow has melted glaciers help to sustain water flow to our rivers - episodes of hot weather such as the current one are causing changes that point to a concerning future.

"What we're seeing from these current high temperatures is a massive melt-off of snow," says Dr Pascal Sirguey, of the university's surveying school.

Some areas are forecast to reach over 33C today. Source: Breakfast