Human Rights Tribunal diss and dismiss McCready’s ponytail case

The Human Rights Tribunal have given Graham McCready a bollocking and dismissed his case against John Key over ponytail pulling.

[1] These proceedings filed on 14 May 2015 arise out of events which occurred at a cafe in Parnell, Auckland involving the Prime Minister of New Zealand, the Rt Hon John Key (Mr Key) and a waitress, Ms Amanda Bailey then employed at the cafe. The allegation is that while at the cafe as a customer, Mr Key on several different occasions pulled Ms Bailey’s hair which was tied in a ponytail.

[2] The Chief District Court Judge on 13 May 2015 rejected papers filed by New Zealand Private Prosecution Service Limited (NZPPSL) in support of an intended private prosecution against Mr Key alleging male assaults female. The rejection of the charging document was based on a failure by NZPPSL to comply with an earlier direction given on 1 May 2015 that it file formal statements in support of the allegations.

[3] These present proceedings before the Human Rights Review Tribunal followed. It is alleged Mr Key breached s 62(2) of the Human Rights Act 1993. The statement of claim describes the plaintiff as the New Zealand Private Prosecution Service Limited but the document is signed by Mr McCready who has at all times been the spokesperson for NZPPSL. Neither Mr McCready nor NZPPSL claims to be the victim of the alleged sexual harassment nor do they claim to have brought the proceedings with the knowledge and consent of Ms Bailey. Indeed the statement of claim specifically acknowledges Ms Bailey has refused to cooperate in the bringing of the claim. The allegations in the statement of claim appear to have been gleaned from media reports.

[59] NZPPSL does not have the stature or credibility of an IDEA Services or of a CPAG. As with the attempted criminal prosecution, it has brought the proceedings for its own purposes, not to vindicate the rights of an otherwise voiceless or disempowered individual or group of individuals. Ms Bailey has given neither her consent nor her cooperation.

[62] The Tribunal’s processes cannot be allowed to be brought into disrepute. In the present case there is, for the reasons given, a distinct element of impropriety, sufficient for the proceedings to be stigmatised as vexatious, not brought in good faith and an abuse of process.

[63] In the result, quite apart from the fact there is no arguable case, these proceedings must be dismissed on the grounds they are vexatious, not brought in good faith and are an abuse of process.


[104] NZPPSL, assisted by Mr McCready as its representative, has brought proceedings before the Tribunal which are entirely misconceived and have no prospect of success. While asserting altruistic motives, they have filed these proceedings without the knowledge, consent or cooperation of the alleged victim. Given the publicity they have assiduously sought at every stage they have undoubtedly added to the hurt and embarrassment she has already suffered. Their apparent indifference to the risk of her being re-victimised by their actions cannot be lightly put to one side.

[105] Having regard to the documents filed by NZPPSL we have little doubt these proceedings, ostensibly wrapped in the language of human rights, have in truth been brought to embarrass the Prime Minister and to promote the interests of NZPPSL and Mr McCready. Along the way they have made baseless allegations against both the Chairperson and the lawyer representing the Prime Minister.

[106] It should therefore come as no surprise the proceedings must be struck out not only because no arguable case under the Human Rights Act can be established, but also because the proceedings are vexatious, not brought in good faith and are an abuse of process.

So that’s another major failure by McCready in trying to deal to Key, with Bailey not wanting anything to do with it. She has already made settlement with her employer.

The Tribunal Headnote: New Zealand Private Prosecution Service Ltd v Key [2015] NZHRRT 48

Download PDF document icon[2015] NZHRRT 48 – NZ Private Prosecution Service Ltd v Key.pdf — PDF document, 157 kB

Leave a comment


  1. Kevin

     /  29th October 2015

    This is damning stuff. If the HRT had the power to fine McCready I no doubt believe they would have.

    • kittycatkin

       /  29th October 2015

      McGreedy will no doubt try to find someone else to harass and annoy. He isn’t happy unless he’s making mischief. What a very nasty little man he is, with a very nasty little mind.

  2. Missy

     /  29th October 2015

    The conclusion seems pretty fair. McCready was going ahead with this case to embarrass the PM with no consideration to the thoughts, feelings or wishes of the alleged victim, he was essentially bullying and harassing her to advance his own agenda.

    I like that the HRT has included the bit about them being indifferent to her re-victimisation, I think that is a good slap in the face to these bullies. Hopefully this is the end of it.

    • Missy

       /  29th October 2015

      Hmmm…. a thumbs down, does that mean that someone reading this thinks that the case should have gone ahead against the wishes of the alleged victim, and therefore allowed McCready to continue with his bullying, harassment and victimisation of this young women? Nice person if that is the case.

      It was the right decision and the conclusion was fair in its assessment of McCready’s actions imo

  3. Stan

     /  29th October 2015

    “She has already made settlement with her employer”
    There is an untold story in that! But no one will know for now what actually transpired and what excatly the ‘settlement’ was! Why WAS the settlement even needed?

    • Missy

       /  29th October 2015

      A settlement may not have been needed, sometimes employers will make a settlement with a disgruntled employee regardless of whether they are needed or not if they deem it to be in the best interests of their business.


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