Man 'critically hurt' at Parliament

Emergency services were called to Parliament this afternoon after a man set himself on fire, police say.

Paramedics were alerted about 3.50pm to the forecourt where they treated the man before transferring him to Wellington Hospital in a critical condition.

Parliamentary Services issued a notice saying the forecourt and front lawn of the Beehive "has been declared a crime scene".

Access restrictions were in place, it said, and people were told to exit via the back of the building.

The Wellington Free Ambulance received multiple calls at 3.50pm, an ambulance spokesman said.

Wellington Police's incident controller Senior Sergeant Glen Turner said security staff at Parliament were the first to respond.

"When police got here there was a person on fire. He has subsequently been put out. Unfortunately he is in a critical condition in hospital," he said.

"Police are appealing to members of the public and witnesses and other people that may have assisted."

Police blocked all entrances to the grounds and a cordon was in place around the scene.

What appeared to be a homemade protest sign inside the cordon looks to reference child custody issues, the New Zealand Herald reported.

Snr Sgt Turner said police had not established the man's identity or his nationality.

"At this stage it's too early to say exactly what he was doing," he said.

Police would look at the man's movements and what he was doing before he arrived at Parliament.  Snr Sgt Turner said the incident was "highly unusual and very unfortunate".

The general election will be held on Saturday.

 

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