Wellington Scoop

James Shaw has a broken eye socket after being attacked


Report from RNZ
Green Party co-leader James Shaw says his family and staff were all shaken up after yesterday’s attack in Wellington left him with a small fracture in the bone of his eye socket.

Mr Shaw suffered a broken eye socket, bloody nose and lacerations to his face after being grabbed and hit on Glenmore Street near the Botanic Garden.

“I feel fine, I have a bit of a sore head,” Mr Shaw told reporters at a press conference in parliament this afternoon.

He said he would not let the incident deter him from walking to work, but people around him were left shaken up by it.

“A lot of people have these kind of incidents occurring and come off a lot worse than I did. I have to say my wife, my family and the staff here at the office were all quite shaken up by it, probably more than I was to be quite honest. I do want to acknowledge that actually my family and team were pretty shaken up by it and I’m upset about that.

“We live in a society where these things do happen, I have always tried to live my life in the knowledge that that kind of thing can happen but not letting that dominate my choices.”

Mr Shaw said doctors would be monitoring his condition and have given him painkillers and antibiotics. He said while there was a risk of concussion, he had no symptoms of it so far.

Mr Shaw said he could not speak in detail about what happened as it was before the courts, but did say the person who attacked him knew who he was and drove off afterwards. The attacker only looked “vaguely familiar”, Mr Shaw said, but said he did not know him.

Mr Shaw said the attack should not mean any changes to the safety procedures towards politicians in the country.

“This is one incident and I know that there are other incidents in history of politicians being attacked. I don’t think we should change our procedures just based on one incident. I do think that one of the great things about New Zealand’s political culture is that for the most part we are open and accessible.

“I like being open and accessible, I like the fact that I can walk to work, and I intend to keep doing so.”

He said he was not alone in facing difficult situations as a politician.

“Some of our MPs, particularly Marama and Golriz, get quite a lot of death threats and quite a lot of really violent social media directed towards them.”

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