Mous­tache mad­ness

The ex­trem­i­ties of the mous­tache were not to ex­tend more than 15 mil­lime­tres be­yond the cor­ners of the mouth.’’

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By TALIA CARLISLE

The stiff up­per lip of New Zealand’s po­lice force is the fo­cus of a pop­u­lar ex­hi­bi­tion at the Porirua Po­lice Mu­seum. The col­lec­tion of im­ages in Hot Fuzz pro­vides a snap­shot of New Zealand Po­lice his­tory. But more im­por­tantly, said cu­ra­tor Na­ias Mingo, it show­cased the evo­lu­tion of po­lice mous­taches.

‘‘There have al­ways been strict rules around the grow­ing of facial hair for mem­bers of the New Zealand Po­lice,’’ she said. ‘‘While the pref­er­ence has al­ways been for clean-shaven of­fi­cers, mous­taches have been ac­cepted within cer­tain pa­ram­e­ters.’’

Mrs Mingo noted the 1970s was a good decade for the mous­tache, with po­lice were al­lowed mous­taches of ‘‘mod­er­ate length’’ as long as they were neatly trimmed.

By the 1980s, the rules were more spe­cific in terms of length, she said.

‘‘The ex­trem­i­ties of the mous­tache were not to ex­tend more than 15 mil­lime­tres be­yond the cor­ners of the mouth. Also, po­lice were not to be seen grow­ing a mous­tache when they were re­quired to ap­pear in uni­form be­fore the pub­lic. That ruled out grow­ing a mous­tache un­less you were on leave.’’

To­day there is an added rule ban­ning a ‘‘tuft of beard’’ on the chin for re­cruits.

Mrs Mingo said the ex­hi­bi­tion had proved pop­u­lar, with chil­dren count­ing the mous­taches in Hot Fuzz as part of the mu­seum’s hol­i­day pro­gramme ac­tiv­i­ties.

The pho­tos span from the 1880s to the present, ‘‘so it’s a great way of see­ing a whole lot of dif­fer­ent pho­to­graphs of po­lice in var­i­ous pe­ri­ods, do­ing all sorts of things, from train­ing po­lice dogs to graduations, to sce­nario-based train­ing,’’ Mrs Mingo said.

The ex­hi­bi­tion was cre­ated as part of Movem­ber cel­e­bra­tions last year, but has re­mained in the mu­seum be­cause of its pop­u­lar­ity and will stay open for at least an­other month.

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