5-speed listening (Level 3)

NZ PM in ponytail-pulling problem



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New Zealand Prime Minister John Key could be in trouble after he pulled the ponytail of a waitress in a café. Mr Key apologised after waitress Amanda Bailey posted online that the PM had pulled her hair many times when he visited the café. Ms Bailey said Mr Key started the hair-pulling last year during his election campaign. She said she repeatedly told him to stop and to not do it again, but he didn't listen to her. She could now take New Zealand's leader to court. He could be investigated for the crime of "hostile touching" if Ms Bailey goes to the police. A New Zealand legal expert said: "You have to remember this is an older white male with a lot of power." He said Ms Bailey was in a powerless position.

Mr Key has apologised for his actions and said he was just "horsing around" (joking) with the waitress. However, many people in New Zealand think the apology is not enough. Women's rights campaigner Marilyn Waring told Radio New Zealand that she believed Mr Key had broken the law. She said: "I'm getting tired of it being called anything but illegal." New Zealand's deputy leader Tracey Martin said it was unacceptable behaviour for a leader of any country. She added: "If he doesn't understand where people's personal boundaries lie, we've got some rather serious problems." The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, said: "It's never OK to touch someone without their permission."

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