The legal assault on the Prime Minister is underway again but private prosecutor Graham McCready wants it known he's not a "vexatious masked crusader".

The Hamilton-based litigant filed a case with the Human Rights Tribunal this afternoon seeking $30,000 punitive damages from the John Key over the infamous ponytail-pulling incidents.

He filed a complaint of sexual harassment against Mr Key just hours after a District Court judge tossed out an attempted criminal prosecution over pulling the hair of Parnell waitress Amanda Bailey.

Instead of pursuing the matter through criminal courts, Mr McCready said he had switched to a civil jurisdiction which would be more straight-froward.


"In the Human Rights Tribunal I can directly summons these people," he said. If allowed, he would be able to cross examine the victim and perpetrator under oath.

Mr McCready said he could have pursued the case at the same time as the criminal complaint but did not want it to appear as if he was assaulting the case on all fronts.

"I could have but then I would look like a vexatious masked crusader, which I'm not of course. I would look like a serial litigant. I only do one of these a year."

Mr McCready said he would seek $30,000 in damages which he would receive as prosecutor. He said the money would be donated to schools to fund computer purchases.

He said he also intended complaining again to the Independent Police Conduct Authority about Mr Key's police bodyguards, to whom Ms Bailey complained about the hair-pulling.

He said the officers should have taken action - and that they would have done were he in the cafe pulling someone's hair.

Mr McCready has successfully driven prosecutions against Labour's Trevor Mallard and Act's John Banks. The case against Mr Key got tossed out after the judge criticised the lack of written statements.

The judge had also rejected an application for an oral evidence order, which Mr McCready could then have used to summons Ms Bailey, Mr Key and any witnesses and compel testimony under oath.


Ms Bailey had said through Unite Union she would have nothing to do with Mr McCready's attempt to prosecute Mr Key.

Mr Key was reluctant to make much comment on the court's decision today when he spoke to reporters at Rolleston in Christchurch.

"I think the court's pretty clear and in the end I'm not going to really engage with the guy. He's free to do what he wants to do.

"That's the end of the matter as far as I'm concerned. I've made all the comments I really want to make on it. People will judge it for what it is."

Asked what he thought about Amanda Bailey taking legal advice, he said "that's totally a matter for her".

Amanda Bailey (front left). Photo / Dean Purcell
Amanda Bailey (front left). Photo / Dean Purcell