Story by RNZ
Franchise Association's newly inducted hall-of-famer Rodney Wayne says the past year has been the toughest in the 53 years he has been in the hairdressing business.
Wayne told the association the past Government's employment policies made it difficult for his company to recruit staff and forced the closure of five small hairdressing salons in 2022.
He said the Government's immigration and other employment policies meant there were not enough staff to go around.
"We couldn't bring hairdressers in, which we've always been able to do. We predominantly hire females who go and have babies and have changes - the Government keep telling them if you don't feel like coming to work don't," Wayne said.
"We were down to two stylists ... but you can't run a seven-day business with just two stylists and two technicians. That didn't work."
The group was able to move staff around, so no one lost their job, but the loss of five hair salons was a blow, he said.
"Nobody likes losing a site that you've been working with for that time. And that's never happened to me ever before in 53 years."
Wayne said business was picking up again, and many of the staff who left over the past few years had returned, but some smaller locations had not recovered following "a very, very tough 12 months".
There were a number of strip malls with empty shops everywhere, he said.
"So it's up and down, but some of our top sites are doing better than they've ever done.
"There's a great thing in business - sometimes you can spend too much time looking after one that's not performing too well you better to spend more time on a top performer - because it gets better."