MPs need to 'take responsibility for their own safety' - security expert

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Friday, 15 March 2019, 9:23a.m.
Green Party co-leader James Shaw was attacked on his way to work yesterday morning. Photo / Getty Images.

A security expert says New Zealand politicians should be trained in how to react to threats, after Green Party co-leader James Shaw was attacked on his way to work.

Shaw was walking to work when he was attacked by a man outside the Chinese Embassy.

After being assisted by two members of the public, the politician was treated by paramedics at the scene before making it to Parliament for a committee meeting.

Shaw later went to hospital as a precaution due to it being a head injury, but is now home with his partner.

Managing director RISQ New Zealand, Bruce Couper, told Mike Hosking Kiwi politicians are extremely accessible and are easy targets.

"What I am advocating is that lots of industry groups, politicians included, should be provided with training in relation to identifying risks far early and therefore being able to do something about them."

"It starts with being able to identify threats early and then make good decisions."

Couper said MPs need to take some responsibility for their own safety.

"We teach very simple things about situational awareness, trusting your gut instinct, using all of your senses at all times to ensure all things appear normal."

He said generally people aren't aware of their surroundings and can put themselves in dangerous positions.

Yesterday, Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson told Larry Williams that Shaw was "shaken".

"We do want to reassure people that he's okay. He's really shaken as we all are, but we are focusing on making sure he gets rest."

A 47-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection with the alleged attack. He will appear in court tomorrow.

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