Green co-leader suffers suspected fractured eye socket in attack

Derek Cheng, NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Friday, 15 March 2019, 10:45AM
Green Party co-leader James Shaw. Photo / Getty Images.
Green Party co-leader James Shaw. Photo / Getty Images.

Green Party co-leader James Shaw is throwing himself back into work today, despite suffering a suspected fractured eye socket in yesterday's assault.

Shaw is expected to attend a climate change protest at Parliament shortly before midday and to speak to media.

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, according to 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".

Shaw will be speaking to what is expected to be a crowd of hundreds outside Parliament today.

Across the capital, many are already out in force – armed with signs and placards.

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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