Jacinda Ardern's bodyguard's beard amasses fan base

While Jacinda Ardern has attracted the kind of attention Labour hasn't seen in years, her bodyguard - or more accurately, his beard is creating a phenomenon of his own.

The generously whiskered man has been colloquially dubbed (by me) as 'mysterious security man with magnificent beard'. 

He was seen flanking Ms Ardern as she made her way through crowds after Labour's campaign launch in Auckland on Sunday.

It's been confirmed it was his first day providing security for Ms Ardern.

The bodyguard is a member of the diplomatic protection squad (DPS), who usually guard the Prime Minister but are also used on an as-needed basis by the Opposition. This particular man has protected both Sir John Key and Bill English.

Despite all attempts to blend into the background, he towers above the crowd, emanating an almost-glow from his closely shaven head.

Crowds gather around Jacinda Ardern after Labour's campaign launch on Sunday.
Crowds gather around Jacinda Ardern after Labour's campaign launch on Sunday. Photo credit: Lloyd Burr/Newshub.

Just look at him.

Ms Ardern's DPS security.
Ms Ardern's DPS security. Photo credit: Lloyd Burr/Newshub.

The bodyguard has inspired his own hashtag - #hipsterspook - coined by Carol Green. 

Ms Green told Newshub the photos in her tweets are taken from others' selfies with Ardern. 

"In profile. Magnificent," she tweeted.

The hashtag inspired screeds of gentle ribbing about protecting the Opposition leader from such horrors as substandard lattes.

"'Ms Ardern, don't touch that latte!'

'Why, has it been spiked?' 

'No, the beans aren't single-origin. Hell, they're probably not even organic'", joked one tweeter. 

Others had nothing but praise for bearded DPS guy's grooming.

"Couldn't resist this monument to variable grooming," tweeted @Sub_Strata.

Another thought he was reminiscent of a Tintin villain. 

Jacinda Ardern's bodyguard's beard amasses fan base
Photo credit: Screengrab

Newshub contacted Ms Ardern's team to ask whether the leader has comment on her DPS guy or his beard. Unfortunately, Ms Ardern didn't want to comment as the DPS officers "are meant to be covert".

However, she did say she is used to being around police as her dad Ross was an officer.

As it turns out, this isn't the first time 'bearded DPS guy' has been given the meme treatment. He was spotted striding through the rain alongside Prime Minister Bill English, who waved to the crowd under the protection of a Blunt umbrella.

The moment was captured by Andrew Mulligan, with the caption "The PM and the guy who should run the country."

The attention surrounding DPS guy harks back to 'hipster cop', a plain-clothed Ralph Lauren-loving detective who was photographed at Occupy Wall Street in 2011.

Another officer got similar treatment during protests in London.

"I'm arresting you on some charges, they are really obscure and you've probably never heard of them," was one of the best tweets at the time.