The Prime Minister says he will have to be more careful in his public interaction in the future, following criticism over his pulling the ponytail of a waitress in an Auckland cafe.
He told TVNZ's programme Q & A this morning that he is one of the more casual prime ministers New Zealand has had, and enjoys joking with the public, but will learn from this experience.
"I need to make sure I'm a bit more careful. I think I've been trying a little too hard obviously in that situation to have a bit of fun," he said.
"You can't reverse things that happen as much as you might, you know, 100 percent want to but you can learn from them.
"I have to mark this down as something I got wrong and therefore I have to learn from it."
Mr Key was also asked about the incident on Friday while in Turkey for Anzac Day commemorations, after the story became public on Wednesday last week.
Criminal Bar Association president Tony Bouchier said earlier this week that any private criminal proceedings filed against Mr Key would be unlikely to go far.
Wellington man Graham McCready has already lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal and said he plans to submit a charging document for assault in May.
Mr Boucher said Mr McCready did not need the backing of the woman involved to file proceedings but such a document would need to supply detailed evidence of what happened and a "whole bunch of matters" would need to be looked at.
Mr McCready has also made an official complaint to the IPCA over the incident.