The Prime Minister has been labelled a hair fetishist and is facing court action and an investigation by the Human Rights Commission over allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace.
Serial litigator Graeme McCready has laid the complaint against John Key for repeatedly pulling waitress Amanda Bailey's hair.
Mr Key has now become known as the Prime Minister who touches hair. The pictures and videos of Mr Key touching hair continue to emerge, but it's the so-called ponytail-gate, pony-gate or tail-gate that's gone global. The Prime Minister repeatedly pulling Ms Bailey's hair has exposed him to ridicule locally and internationally.
"Somebody suggested it's some sort of fetish, but it's not something that most of us would do," says Labour's deputy leader Annette King.
Mr McCready, who successfully prosecuted John Banks and Trevor Mallard, plans to take a private prosecution against Mr Key. He's also filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission, accusing Mr Key of sexual harassment in the workplace.
Mr Key was unavailable today, but has put his behaviour down to "light-hearted fun and games".
The Opposition's drawn comparisons with Aaron Gilmore - the National MP forced to resign for bullying a waiter. There are also comparisons to CERA boss Roger Sutton, who resigned following a sexual harassment complaint, behaviour he described as "hugs" and "jokes".
"He's acknowledged that it went too far and has apologised to the woman concerned," says Deputy Prime Minister Bill English.
There's no question the Prime Minister's behaviour was inappropriate. It was also bizarre, but it's not first time he's acted weird.
His previous antics include dancing 'Gangnam Style', taking part in a three-way hand-shake, mincing down the catwalk and making out-of-line comments like "gay red top".
His colleagues argue it's all part of his charm.
"It's really important to remember that he's a Prime Minster that likes to be friendly and approachable," says National MP Judith Collins.
For seven years Brand Key has been National's number one, priceless asset. This is humiliating for Mr Key and could really tarnish that brand - especially if it goes to court.
The highest standards are expected of Prime Ministers and this falls well below.
source: newshub archive