Field Officer James Sendall has become a recognisable character on construction sites across Northland and Auckland, sporting one of the finest mullets swishing around.
Teaming up with the Mental Health Foundation New Zealand, James has taken up the Mullet Matters Challenge, committing to growing his locks as well as promoting the mental health conversation.
The Mullet Matters campaign asks participants to grow a statement, shape a connection and raise funds to keep MHFNZ’s vital resources free and support a million conversations about our mental health across Aotearoa. While often concealed under his blue hard hat, Sendall dons his ‘helmet of hair’ as he delivers training, checks in on sites and spreads the MATES message.
The proud Palmerston North native jokes that his mullet both keeps his neck sun-safe during the summer and enables presentability within his professional life at front-facing angles.
Asked what James’s mullet means to him, the answer was simple.
‘Strength and Power. My mullet is influenced by the great heroes of the squared circle (Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and, the one and only, Eddie Guerrero – circa ’98).
‘My mullet is part of who I am and how I express myself.’
The opportunity came as a surprise when Chris Taylor from MHFNZ contacted MATES looking for flying mullets for the campaign.
‘I was asked for by name, which came as a bit of a shock as I like to think of myself as invisible at times.
‘As a young dude growing up, appearance isn’t always a priority; for me, it always has been. That is why I mention famous wrestlers of the past and their influence on me.’
Mental Health has become a fundamental focus of James’ adult life, joining MATES as a Field Officer in 2021.
‘This experience has shown me that this haircut I sport is somewhat recognisable to the public and adds to the kaupapa of the campaign and what we do here at MATES.
‘A key part of what we do here at MATES is trying to break down that stigma of people expressing themselves, putting their hands up when they need help or even when they don’t.’
MATES is proud to see James join forces with the Mental Health Foundation and continue conversations about both mullets and mental health.