News 14 march — 19:26

New Zealand shock over climate change minister attack


New Zealand's climate change minister has been assaulted in the street while on his way to Parliament House, BBC reports.

Green Party co-leader James Shaw was punched in the face early on Thursday in Wellington, though was not seriously injured.

PM Jacinda Ardern said: "In New Zealand, you just don't expect these things to happen."

It prizes its culture of political openness and this has raised questions about the accessibility of lawmakers.

"We have an environment in New Zealand where politicians are accessible, and that's something we should feel proud of," Ms Ardern told reporters.

"We are after all, here to serve people. But today's events really show we cannot take that for granted."

A 47-year-old man was arrested and will appear in court on Friday, police said.

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