Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News World

PM apologises for ponytail pulling

New Zealand's prime minister has apologised to a cafe worker who said he repeatedly pulled her ponytail when he visited over a period of months, even after she told him to stop.

The worker wrote an anonymous post on The Daily Blog website, saying John Key began pulling her hair at the eatery near his home last year during his successful re-election campaign and continued the behaviour throughout March.

At first, she wrote, she did not say anything and thought Mr Key was probably trying to be "playful and jolly".

But eventually, she said, she told his security detail she did not like it and later told Mr Key "No" repeatedly and wagged her finger at him. When he pulled her hair again on a subsequent visit, she said she told him to stop "or I will actually hit you soon".

"I really didn't like it," the worker wrote. "I felt powerless and tormented and I stepped out the back and I cried frustrated tears."

The worker said Mr Key came back soon after the last incident with two bottles of wine from his own vineyard and gave them to her, saying: "This is for you, sorry, I didn't realise."

Mr Key's office said today the premier visits the cafe regularly with his wife and has a good relationship with the staffe.

"His actions were intended to be light-hearted," a statement said. "It was never his intention to make her feel uncomfortable and he has apologised to her."

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?


From Belfast Telegraph