Ponytail-gate has come to a head again for the National Party as allegations emerge that its new campaign ad appears to show a male runner pulling a young woman's ponytail.
But the party says the man is "clearly" encouraging the woman with a friendly pat on the back, not pulling her pony tail.
In April 2015, John Key, who was then the Prime Minister and leader of the National Party, was accused of repeatedly pulling the ponytail of a waitress at a Parnell cafe even after the woman asked him to stop, causing her distress.
He admitted to pulling the woman's ponytail but denied he had ill intent, saying instead he was just "horsing around".
Key was criticised by both international news outlets and social media users and even faced legal action over the infamous incidents.
US broadcaster CNN compared the then-Prime Minister to a "playground bully" in a story about his actions.
A few weeks after the saga made headlines around the world, private prosecutor Graham McCready filed a case with the Human Rights Tribunal seeking $30,000 punitive damages from Key.
More than two years later and in the lead-up to a general election, the saga has reared its head again for the National Party after writer and social commentator Michele A'Court tweeted that the party's new "Keep NZ moving forward" TV ad appeared to show a male runner pulling a young woman's ponytail.
Grant Robertson, Labour MP for Wellington Central, retweeted A'Court's tweet, saying "I didn't believe this when I first read it. But it does seem to be true. You can not make this stuff up....".
Halfway through the 30-second ad a man who is party of a running group wearing blue-green t-shirts can be seen reaching his arm behind the female runner beside him.
It's not completely clear what he's doing but the woman smiles at the camera as the man moves his hand away.
A National Party spokesman said: "Quite clearly the man is patting her on the back. It's a form of encouragement from one runner to another".
The spokesman provided the below screenshot for clarification.
You can watch the full ad here: