Wellington, March 14 (IANS) New Zealand’s Climate Change Minister James Shaw was punched in the face on Thursday on the street while he was on his way to Parliament House.
A 47-year-old man was arrested for assaulting Green Party co-leader Shaw in Wellington, though the Minister was not seriously injured, the BBC reported. The attacker will appear in court on Friday, the police said.
A Green Party spokesperson described the attack as unprovoked and said Shaw, who suffered a black eye, went to the hospital for a precautionary check-up.
It was unclear if the attack on Shaw was politically motivated, but Trade Minister David Parker told the media that the attacker “was shouting things out about the UN”.
Talking about the incident, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: “In New Zealand, you just don’t expect these things to happen.
“We have an environment in New Zealand where politicians are accessible and that’s something we should feel proud of. We are after all, here to serve people. But today’s events really show we cannot take that for granted,” Ardern told reporters.