http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/mccaw-to-thank-for-nzs-movember-regrowth-20111130-1o5tk.html Tamara McLean November 30, 2011 AAP
Kiwi blokes binned their razors in record numbers this Movember and organisers say they have one man to thank - Richie McCaw.
The All Blacks captain cultivated a carefully-manicured moustache in the name of men's health this month following his team's Rugby World Cup-winning performance.
"He was more popular than the prime minister in the lead-up to Movember so we really couldn't have had a better ambassador for the cause," said Movember New Zealand Manager Rob Dunne.
New Zealand garnered 13,000 official mo-growers this year, by far the most since 25,000 signed up in the campaign's most successful year, 2007.
Mr Dunne says more than $NZ1.3 million ($A995,000) will be raised, shared equally between the Cancer Society's prostate cancer program and the Mental Health Foundation's men's health unit.
He credits McCaw's popularity and a pro-mo fashion trend for the surge in support.
"We've definitely noticed a lot more mos in the streets in general so that's got to help. Guys are being a lot more experimental and really getting into it."
While the last surge in 2007 saw men brandishing "huge filthy handle bar moes", this time participants have opted for nicely clipped, modest facial appendages that are easier on the eye.
Thanking the many "mo bros and sistas" for joining the effort, Mr Dunne was quick to point out female role was one of support only.
"No females mos that I know of," he said with a laugh.
"They were the organisers behind the groups of men, and great supporters. As everyone knows, you need to run these things past the missus."
The campaign's health message is clear.
"We've got too many blokes who see it as a badge of honour to never go to the doctor," he said.
"We're not saying be a hypochondriac but having a once-yearly visit to your doctor can do you wonders."