New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has apologized to a woman working at a cafe for pulling her hair. The unidentified waitress, who works at an Auckland cafe, wrote on a blog about how PM John Key repeatedly pulled her ponytail whenever he visited. Despite her objections, Key did not listen.
Though the PM defended the hair-pulling as “light-hearted,” his action has encouraged criticism from the opposition party and the public. He later apologized.
Describing the incident, the waitress wrote that Key started pulling her hair ahead of last November’s election. She further said that after the incident, she avoided the PM whenever he visited the cafe and also informed security guards she didn’t like her hair being pulled.
When matters weren’t resolved, she personally told Key to stop pulling her hair. But he continued.
“He would come up behind me when I was at the ordering terminal, tug on my hair and then pretend that his wife, Bronagh, had done it (much to her embarrassment), and she would tell him to stop it. As he rounded the corner behind me he commented ‘that’s a very tantalising ponytail’,” she wrote.
The PM has apologized and even offered the waitress two personalized wine bottles as gifts.
“His actions were intended to be light-hearted. It was never his intention to make her feel uncomfortable and he has apologised to her,” Key’s office said in a statement.
On Wednesday, Mr Key told reporters that he has “a very warm and friendly relationship” with the staff of the cafe where “we have lots of fun and games there, there’s always lots of practical jokes and things.”