Ponytailgate: What does Key have to hide?

Written By: - Date published: 1:41 pm, August 19th, 2015 - 59 comments
Categories: john key - Tags: ,


To add to all of John Key’s other problems Ponytailgate has resurfaced.

Paul McMahon, chair of the Spreydon-Heathcote Community Board chair, asked the Prime Minister’s office for details of all contact that had occurred between Key and Rachel Glucina concerning Amanda Bailey.  The office refused and the Ombudsman was asked to intervene.

From Stuff:

Prime minister John Key is under investigation for refusing to release correspondence with a gossip columnist over Ponytailgate.

Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem stepped in after his office declined to make public conversations or messages with former New Zealand Herald writer Rachel Glucina over Auckland’s Cafe Rosie.

Wakem will probe the decision not to release any record of contact with Glucina, the cafe’s owners or its employees.


If it can be shown that there was any coordination of efforts between Key’s office and Glucina over Ponytailgate there will be significant political damage caused.

After Bailey’s distress came to light in May, Key was adamant he had “absolutely no part to play” in the newspaper interview. Under questioning from the Greens in Parliament he confirmed he had no contact with Glucina’s Pink PR company, but would not answer questions about personal contact with the columnist.

In refusing McMahon’s request, it is likely his office argued against the release of correspondence with journalists, and will maintain that stance during the Ombudsman inquiry.

Of course refusing to deny that contact occurred leaves open the impression that some sort of contact between Key’s office and [Rachel Glucina] did occur.  What will be most interesting is the timing of the contact.

59 comments on “Ponytailgate: What does Key have to hide?”

  1. Stephen Dickson 1

    Odds on he got in touch with her himself trying to smooth it over. After all it wouldn’t do for he fetishes to be revealed.

  2. Detrie 2

    Lies and half-truths are what this man is all about, using his position and spin to avoid answering questions in parliament or otherwise. Why do we expect anything else? Fortunately even some national voters are realising the PM is a liability to the country and his office. But, better the devil you know (and distrust) than say Judith Collins…

  3. Editractor 3

    Should the last para say “between Key’s office and Glucina”? At this point some form of contact between Key’s office and Amanda Bailey has been established, no?

    • AmaKiwi 3.1

      Let’s see how many characters John Key can be.

      1. Prime Minister, the (Less Than) Honorable John Key
      2. The Office of the Prime Minister.
      3. The “I don’t use whips and chains” now out-of-the-closet hair fetishist.
      4. The multimillionaire whose secret family trusts would make your eyes water.
      5. Good mates with Cameron Slater, Mike Hosking, and no one I would want to be associated with.
      6. The politician who, in question time, can never remember an inconvenient fact.
      7. The campaigner whose promises evaporate after the election.

  4. dukeofurl 4

    Hon JOHN KEY: I certainly would describe my style as open and transparent.

    Does the Prime Minister stand by his statement that “the Pike River underground coalmine near Greymouth was an example of modern mining practices that had minimal impact on the landscape” ( This was in 2009)


    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Don’t see why he wouldn’t stand by that statement, because it demonstrably did have minimal impact on the landscape. Which is a completely separate point as to whether it was an example of modern mining practice when it comes to health and safety.

      In fact, the desire to have minimal impact on the landscape is part of what made the mine so dangerous – it had only one proper access point, not two as it should have; one of the ventilation systems was (stupidly) considered to be the alternative access point.

      Also in a desire to not impact the landscape, the access drift was an upwards sloping tunnel into the body of the mine proper. That in itself is a design in keeping with a blast furnace, where the hot air rising in the combustion chamber will draw more cold air in through the intake, which is much more efficient if the intake is upwards sloping.

      • dukeofurl 4.1.1

        On the other side of the ranges a mine, Mt Davy with two access points closed when 3 were killed as it was too dangerous.
        The total disregard for safety led to the mine disaster in the first place.

        Apart from having minimal infrastructure at the mine entrance, this wasnt so different from historical mines in Brunner coal measures. The mine entrance is lower down in valley, the coal measures are at a higher level under the mountains.
        The Paparoa ranges and the Brunner coal measures have killed a lot of miners over time.

        The other point was about the safety and the breaches of environmental conditions which was occurring at the surface, little did we know then it was even worse at the coal face.

  5. Tanz 5

    It will not come to anything, the police never prosecute those in power, he will be sheltered and shielded. People are not equal under our laws!!

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      It’s not a police enquiry, and no official complaint has been laid by Bailey; those laid by McCready were refused by the court as he had no standing and no evidence other than hairsay.

      • Rodel 5.1.1

        Someone has to respond..” no evidence other than ‘hairsay'” very droll.

        • Lanthanide

          And yet, the truth? That’s what the court said when they dismissed his case.

      • weizguy 5.1.2

        There’s no requirement to have standing for private prosecutions.

        The two grounds under which the court can decide that a charging document will not be accepted are:
        1. Lack of evidence (hearsay/”hairsay”)
        2. Abuse of process

        The criminal justice system is about the public good. Private prosecutions serve as a check and balance, not as an opportunity for those involved to have another crack. It’s the right of any concerned citizen to attempt a prosecution where they think the state has failed.

  6. Tracey 6

    Given that apparently most right thinking NZers think it is ok to fondle women’s hair that they do not know, how come it isn’t happening more often?

    • maui 6.1

      No touching of men’s hair by the man himself, that’s deemed unacceptable and culturally insensitive. But women are fair game apparently..

    • HumPrac 6.2

      I triple dare someone to go up to Key, tug his hair, and record it all in the process. Then post it on Youtube.
      In fact, lets ALL go around with cameras and tug on the hair of ALL politicians.
      Lets test how legal it really is.

  7. taxicab 7

    He would have used one of his infamous “burnphones”

  8. les 8

    Key is a slick salesman…as per his nic the ‘smiling assassin’ as a forex gambler.He has perfected the …’the secret of success is…sincerity…if you can fake that…you’ve got it made’!

  9. Don’t let go of this one – this sweater is unravelling

  10. Clemgeopin 10

    What is curious to me is that Amanda Bailey gave a very detailed account of the incident to The Daily Blog and stated how humiliated, angry and unhappy she was at Key’s despicable bulling behaviour towards her over a prolonged period even after asking him to stop. But in spite of going to the press, she did not make a police complaint and hasn’t explained why not! That seems quite strange. Or is she still considering laying a complaint? Does any one know?

    • les 10.1

      my guess…..heres 30k to assuage your concerns…strictly confidential…all done in the best possible taste!

    • Anne 10.2

      @ Clemgeopin

      I’m picking she found the resultant publicity very stressful. She was probably on the receiving end of hate messages and her former employers double-crossed her. A very distressing experience for a young woman to go through. She was derided by some, and her story was questioned in the media. Having run the gauntlet of John Key’s harassment for that period of time and then being subjected to disbelief and humiliation, I wouldn’t be surprised if the thought of a court case was too much for her to contemplate.

      • Chooky 10.2.1

        +100 Anne…agreed

        …and GO McMahon !( a very fine Irish name….son of a bear)

      • Weepus beard 10.2.2

        This, and having witnessed the police response in the roast busters case the good advice, if you want your story heard, will have been; do not go to the New Zealand police with sexual harassment claims.

      • Clemgeopin 10.2.3

        May be Anne. Wish she had laid a complaint. She has let Key off too easily.
        She might have been able to bring this whole lousy government down!

      • Ron 10.2.4

        I wonder if she is still employed in the cafe. Anyone that drinks there know if she is working there.

        • Anne

          No Ron. That’s my understanding anyway. She resigned (I suppose) shortly after the case went public. After what her employers did to her she could hardly continue working in their cafe.

      • AmaKiwi 10.2.5

        Anne +1

        Much as I detest Key, I cannot imagine going through a court case on this.

        If I thought it could bring down the government, I might be prepared to make the sacrifice. I’d probably flee to Australia afterwards.

    • GregJ 10.3

      Perhaps she just wants to stay the fuck away from the whole thing now – who wants to be subjected to the merciless attention of a prurient and puerile media who will almost certainly make her life miserable and make sure her name is dragged through the mud – and then be subjected to the type of disdain and treatment the NZ Police will show for her and then be subject to the inevitable Dirty Politics attacks of Blubber and co?

      Unless she has the martyr complex of a Joan of Arc I can’t imagine why she should subject herself to the victim blaming.

      • Anne 10.3.1

        Spot on Gregj. That is exactly what would happen. What an indictment on NZ society that it’s allowed to happen – even encouraged.

    • Lara 10.4

      I think I’m not alone as a woman in NZ who does not trust the NZ police with a complaint of sexual harassment or any sexual offence against women. Probably against any gender actually.

      They’ve proven it with the Louise Nichols and RoastBuster cases.

      If anything ever happened to me in that realm I know that the NZ police would be an organisation that I would actively avoid.

      And while they’re doing everything they can to avoid fixing their sick culture that will continue to be my approach.

      I’m guessing Amanda Bailey has a similar impression of NZ police?

      • Clemgeopin 10.4.1

        “I’m guessing Amanda Bailey has a similar impression of NZ police?”

        We don’t know. She hasn’t said anything about it or about what transpired after her exposé.

  11. Penny Bright 11

    Is ‘brand Key’ buggered?

    Penny Bright

    • les 11.1

      only if the AB’s dont retain the WC.

    • Peter 11.2

      What will really damage brand Key is the perception amongst voters that there is a viable alternative …… until that happens it’s the devil we know regardless of what perceived damage brand Key may endure.

      • upnorth 11.2.1

        totally agree there is none – when will the left get their heads around that

        • Peter

          … Crosby/Textor, Hosking, Henry, Armstrong, O’Sullivan etc are critical to the perception that there is no viable alternative …. they are playing a very serious game maintaining the status quo despite protests to the contrary

    • Chris 11.3

      Nah, he’ll be fine.

  12. Penny Bright 12

    The next political opinion polls should be fascinating?

    Penny Bright

    • upnorth 12.1

      why? it will show winston at 12% and Little at 8%

      I suspect the door is closing on Little

      • Clemgeopin 12.1.1

        Have you noticed that the TV media are giving more publicity for Winston and Shaw rather than going to Little, the leader of the opposition? I won’t be surprised if this is part of the subtle dirty tricks strategy from the RW and our dodgy, so called, ‘journalists’ to divide the opposition, harm Labour, marginalise Little giving him less media exposure and ultimately weaken the left’s chances.

        The bastards did their best to destroy Clark, Goff, Shearer and Cunliffe. Now it seems to be Little’s turn. But hopefully, this time the voters will see through this sort of crap and won’t let our bugger media succeed in their sinister ploy.

        • upnorth

          I dont think their is a conspiracy theory here but he just doesnt grab headlines and doesnt know how –

          • Clemgeopin

            The journalists are powerful in making or breaking a politician or a party due to the exposure they are given. It is a catch 22 situation.

            The headlines are written by the journalists, not by Little. What I am talking about is the media exposure the ‘leader of the opposition’ should be given. In a democracy, he/she, as the potential PM, should be getting a good amount of media coverage, just as the PM gets, though granted to a much lesser extent, for sure.

            I have no problem with the leaders of the other parties getting publicity/media coverage, but the leader of the opposition should be getting his proper share/major share due to the position and responsibility he/she holds.

            It is not for the journalists to play dirty and actively manipulate politics, polls, leadership etc.

            For example, take a look at this clip, when the Saudi Sheep Shit was relentlessly exposed by Labour.(Parker)

            Again, no problem they interviewed Shaw, but gave much less time to Parker and nothing to Little!

          • whateva next?

            oh really?

  13. linda 13

    perv key should have been nailed to the wall

  14. Mike the Savage One 14

    We know the Prime Minister has a split personality, or at least takes liberty to exploit the fact, that he is Prime Minister at times, that he is a private citizen at times, that he is a National Party member at times, that he is a husband at times, that he is a holiday-maker at Hawaii at times.

    I can already foresee the outcome of this. The Ombudsman is not at all that much of a robust “watch dog” as some in the public still believe. Beverley Wakem has thrown out a fair few complaints under the Ombudsmen Act before, or seen no need to investigate any further, at times using bizarre explanations.

    So with our PM being an expert in split personalities with various capacities, he will most likely convince the Ombudsman, that there is no reason to investigate or to take any further action. Whatever he may do in private, in the way of correspondence between Glucina and himself, that will not be considered as “official information” or other information, that is “in the public interest”.

    So watch this space, and prepare for disappointments.

    By the way, what happened to the complaint by James Shaw, Co-leader of the Green Party, to the Chief Archivist, about John Key having deleted his text messages that he exchanged with Cameron Slater? James thought the records were public records, at least some, and needed to be kept for a certain time. It has been silent on that, and I fear, he got told there is no reason to investigate. Perhaps he can enlighten us re that complaint, which is of course another matter.

    Also, what “efforts” has the Ombudsman made in their “review” of the OIA practices by state agencies and so forth? As far as I know, some feedback was sought from the ones that face OIA requests, but has the Office of Ombudsmen actually consulted with the many requesters of information? I doubt it, which shows yet again, the “watch dog” is one with few teeth.

  15. Paul 15

    Mike Sabin
    What does Key have to hide?

  16. hoom 16

    I seem to recall a certain senior politician making reference to some controversial legislation along the lines of ‘those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear’…

  17. adam 17

    It seem prophetic this song – especially with Key in control.

  18. sirpat 18

    as per anything with Key……….panem et circenses……………

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