Green MP's attacker 'looked familiar'

James Shaw speaks to the crowd at the climate change protest at Parliament in Wellington on...
James Shaw speaks to the crowd at the climate change protest at Parliament in Wellington on Friday. Photo: NZ Herald
Green Party co-leader James Shaw has confirmed the person who attacked him knew who he was - and has revealed his colleagues have received death threats.

Shaw said the assault yesterday had caused a small fracture in a bone in the eye socket.

"So no head banging," he joked.

"I feel fine. I have a bit of a sore head, and a lot of people have these kinds of incidents occur and come off a lot worse than I do," he told reporters.

Shaw praised a "brave" couple who intervened during the assault outside the entrance to Wellington Botanic Garden yesterday. His attacker had driven away after being interrupted.

The attacker had looked "vaguely familiar" to him.

Despite the attack, Shaw said he did not believe the one incident dictated an increase in security for MPs.

However, he said he had long been concerned about "death threats" and social media abuse fielded by colleagues Golriz Ghahraman and Marama Davidson.

Shaw said his wife and staff were more shaken up by the assault than he was.

He said he has been touched by the messages of support he has had – "I wasn't anticipating that."

Earlier, Shaw has posted a video to his Twitter followers sporting a black eye.

"I'm ok, I'm back at work and I'm very much looking forward to today's school strike for climate and I hope to see you there," he said.

Shaw wanted to directly thank the people that came to his aid following the attack as he walked to Parliament yesterday.

He also thanked the Wellington Free Ambulance, police and hospital staff for their care following the attack.

Shaw is throwing himself back into work today, despite suffering a suspected fractured eye socket in yesterday's assault.

Shaw, the Climate Change Minister, was assaulted at the entrance to Wellington Botanic Garden during his walk to work at Parliament yesterday morning.

A Green Party spokesman this morning told the Herald that his injury was "in a bad way" and he had a suspected fractured eye socket.

His alleged assailant, a 47-year old man, is due to appear in court today.

According to Trade Minister David Parker, the man who assaulted Shaw shouted something about the United Nations before the attack.

Shaw was "shaken" after the incident, said Greens co-leader Marama Davidson.

Although he came back into work after the incident, Shaw went back to hospital later in the day.

He told media that his injuries "looked worse than it is".

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the attack on Shaw showed New Zealand couldn't take for granted how accessible its politicians were.

"I think all of us will probably be united in wanting to ensure we have the kind of political environment where everyone can hold their views, but they can do that safely," Ardern said yesterday.

Ardern said that when she spoke to Shaw afterwards, he told her he was "doing fine".

"I tried to encourage him to take whatever time he needed to recover," she said.

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