19 Feb 2016

PM to release ponytail text

5:30 pm on 19 February 2016

The Prime Minister will comply with an ombudsman recommendation and release a text message he received from gossip columnist Rachel Glucina, he says.

John Key

Prime Minister John Key Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The message is related to the much-publicised incident where John Key admitted he repeatedly pulled at a waitress's ponytail.

"I received an unsolicited text from a journalist, I didn't respond to that, I just simply left it and that was the end of it," he said.

"So there was no preceding conversations or discussion or anything else. I simply got it out-of-the-blue and I left it."

NewsHub has reported that the text message says: "Just interviewed the waitress. Piece of work! Massive political agenda" - Ms Glucina works for Mediaworks, the company that owns NewsHub.

Mr Key initially refused to release the message but has now said he will following an ombudsman recommendation.

"We've always worked on the principal that there is communication with journalists and actually we like to protect that if you like, in the nature of the way that journalists protect their own source," he said.

Mr Key has not said what was in the text message but would release it once all parties were notified.

The ombudsman was notified after an Official Information Act request by a blogger on No Right Turn failed to have the message released.