John Key will find it hard work to recover from ponytail saga - political analyst

John Key may struggle to recover from damages incurred by his outing as a ponytail tugger, a respected political scientist believes.

NZ Herald’s Shayne Currie says the café owners initially thought Rachel Glucina was working on a statement for all media. Source: 1 NEWS

Bryce Edwards has offered his two cents on the saga, saying the "strangeness factor" has made the Prime Minister "a laughing stock".

"A lot of people will be laughing at John Key, that's harder to recover from," Mr Edwards told TV ONE's Breakfast programme this morning.

Yesterday, Mr Key laughed off his penchant for pulling hair, saying he had a "fun relationship" with the waitress who publicly shamed him.

Amanda Bailey wrote a damning post on the Daily Blog, revealing Mr Key's continuous aptitude for pulling her hair when visiting the Parnell cafe where she works.

She likened his behaviour to "school yard bullying" and said she felt powerless and humiliated.

Mr Key apologised for his behaviour by sending two bottles of pinot noir to Ms Bailey and later accepted that it was not appropriate in hindsight and that he thought it was in the "context of practical jokes".

In the wake of the revelations, many prominent people and groups have weighed in, mostly in defence of Ms Bailey.

Speaking to Breakfast this morning, blogger Deborah Russell says Mr Key's actions were sending a terrible message.

"It's a powerful man refusing to take no for an answer," she says. "Several times she says she didn't consent and he still carried on."

Today, Ms Bailey has alleged she was duped by a journalist at the NZ Herald, and comments and photos were used without her permission.

The journalist, Rachel Glucina, tweeted this morning about the claims, posting "this is utterly not true" and that she will "be responding in due course".

Herald Editor Shayne Currie has responded to ONE News about Ms Bailey's accusations, saying "none of what is stated is accurate".