James Shaw assaulted in public – a sudden political chill on a Summer day


James Shaw has been assaulted in public

Green Party co-leader James Shaw has been admitted to hospital after an attack on his way to Parliament this morning.

Shaw was attacked by one person; he was grabbed and received a knock to his face.

The 45-year-old has given a detailed statement to police, Newshub says.

Shaw, 45, is the Climate Change and Statistics Minister and an associate minister of finance, health and transport.

The attack was thought to be near the gardens at Kelburn.

A Green Party spokesman said although the attack appeared to be unprovoked, the person – who the spokesman said was a man – knew who Shaw was.

The Greens have requested have requested compassionate leave from the House today from the Speaker.

A spokesman for the Green Party said Shaw was punched in the face and suffered a black eye in the attack.

Shaw, who was walking to work from his Kelburn home, was attacked by the man who stepped out.

Luckily, two passersby stepped in after the attack. He continued on to work and attended a meeting before going

…let’s hope this is some dreadful random violence by a disturbed person as opposed to a targeted political attack – the former is depressing, the latter terrifying.

We must not, can not, go down the road of injecting violence into our political system. We can disagree passionately, we can argue aggressively we can angrily debate one another, but no matter the disagreement or difference, we must never raise hands to one another.

We are all brothers and sisters here, we are all citizens of NZ, we must never allow the angels of our lesser natures breach our obligations of decency to one another.

When public debate is so vile on social media, does behaviour follow?

Let’s all hope not.


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  1. Given the amount of hatred directed at Eugenie Sage by the Ban 1080 people, and quite a few others with a bee in their bonnet about DoC, I was thinking it was her life that is in the most danger. There are an awful lot of conservative New Zealand facebook groups full of angry people these days

    • Anyone else you don’t like you would like to implicate?
      Thank goodness we have you to fill in all the gaps instead of needing those pesky facts Conspiracy Pineapple.

      • +100…I hope the Greens don’t now hope to cache in on a massive sympathy vote… and guilt trip any vocal opponents to their policies …and play the victim card

        …I heard Sue Bradford complaining this morning about those who opposed her anti -smacking Bill

  2. Not good. The impact can be infinitely longer lasting than the blows.

    Perhaps the National Govt knew precisely what it was doing when it made the decision to under-fund mental health – and all health – and let damaged people loose in a community which they can’t cope with, nor it with them.

    • True. I couldn’t stand John Key. With his permanent smirk and smug manner, I thought he had the world’s most punchable face. But I would never suggest someone actually assault him. You’ve got to draw the line somewhere, and as soon as you decide to wander about thumping people you don’t particularly like, you’re just another unhinged muppet with zero credibility.

  3. Sure, lets wait till the facts emerge to make a full judgement, but it is still fair to say that people’s behaviour can be shaped by the prevailing social climate, and social media, just as Muldoon’s years of union bashing created a mentality that saw the Wellington Trades Hall bomb, and death of Ernie Abbott

    According to media reports the assaulter knew who Mr Shaw was.

  4. Good post Martyn. I concur with your sentiments.

    Regardless of status, no one deserves to be violated.

    I wish Mr Shaw well.

    • Yes agree MARY…and good Post Martyn Bradbury

      Sympathies to James Shaw and hope he makes a quick recovery and the assailant is apprehended and prosecuted…

  5. …let’s hope this is some dreadful random violence by a disturbed person as opposed to a targeted political attack – the former is depressing, the latter terrifying.

    Yes indeed Martin, my thoughts exactly.

    I felt the same way when John Banks, Don Brash, Steven Joyce and Sir John Key were attacked. Or is there a difference?

  6. If it was politically motivated and if the offender has been on social media in right wing echo chambers, the implications become clearer.

    Whatever, the use of violence is a poor way to advance a cause if that’s what it was about.

  7. Yeah, this is not the way to solve differences in opinion or politics. Hope this isn’t a trend going forward. Utterly reprehensible.

    • I mean who ever came up with the term “non-violent” protest wasn’t going to fight for what they believe in themselves. So school children would have to. How idiotic would it be to send to cops in on school chrildren who are being taught climate change in schools only to be told only after school hours and if it doesn’t get in the way of my morning commute. Oh the irony is delicious.

    • So…Your against violence, BUT its OK when its against John Key or Bill. You have no class at all, Whale Oil and Kiwi Bog and their readers condemned the assault on Shaw. Crawl back under your rock.

      • Amazing well i suppose you have to agree that Kiwi blog and Whale oil would be the biggest hypocrites condemning it when they spend the rest of their time attacking James Shaw who is at least a genuine politician.
        Gary i don’t need class to have an opinion.
        I stand by what i said and stop being so precious.

    • This is where you (the left) reveal your sickening hypocrisy. Where was the outrage when Josie Butler hit Steve Joyce with a dildo? She’s being interviewed/lauded on tv – we won’t see the media doing the same to this idiot.

  8. Just another case proving how Kiwis don’t know how to fight, except fight each other and a very low intellect level, often when intoxicated.

    But I suspect that there are some real haters out there, who do not want anything ‘green’ get a hold of NZ politics.

    I suggest James Shaw learn and take up self defence courses.

    Battered and not yet battered women all over the country do the same.

  9. The more our politicians talk about stuff, and do the opposite of what they talk about doing, and as long as they betray voters, I am not at all surprised that more and more people get disillusioned, angry and react in such manner.

    While I do not know the details of this attack, it may appear to rather have been by one hating the Greens anyway. But the Greens have not served themselves or their principles much, NZ Politics is rotten to the core, as we know, some people just use the excessive inappropriate way of reacting, which I believe this is about.

    Anger will not be subdued and vanish, it will spread, politicians have a lot to be accountable for what happens to them.

  10. …let’s hope this is some dreadful random violence by a disturbed person as opposed to a targeted political attack – the former is depressing, the latter terrifying.

    Thats what Martin said, and I agree 100% (for once)

    You are a wanker Rickoshay

  11. Possibly off topic ,but I am sick of lazy commenters playing fast ans loose with seasons.

    Summer in NZ begins about Labour Weekend, Summer ends about the end of January.

    NZ is longtiduanally long so seasonal variations are very noticeable.

    March is not summer. Journalistic/blogger laziness is unforgivable.

  12. Hope he recovers soon! Horrible thing to happen.

    Sadly public violence seems to be on the rise. Was talking to someone whose friend has sustained a brain injury from a mob attack while they were stealing his car. Weird because I also have a friend who got a brain injury from a mob attack also involving stealing his car. That is the state of Auckland these days, and sounds like spreading to Wellington… in this case may just be a random Greens or public hater, as if they were serious about harm, then maybe they would have used a weapon? Pretty awful for poor James Shaw and his family.

    • I think a teacher was assaulted by a parent on patrol recently…. that made news headlines.

      While appalling that this has happened it seems that unprovoked assaults are becoming more common… but not much interest in stopping or working out why they are happening more? Maybe giving Meth and other drug dealers free reign and the growing amounts of people unable to meet ends meet with an insecure job, being made redundant constantly and queues at the food banks.

      Tinkering with the school system in the 1980’s with tomorrows schools and then realising that is was not a good idea, just like the high fees and loans for tertiary from that period which surprise surprise is also resulted in massive skills shortages which with our low wages and user pays can not be repaid easily. Apparently our future lies in a nation of baristas and hammer hands. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/8030433/Tomorrows-Schools-lost-a-decade

      Just another concerning thing occurring, while probably the police stats say its not occurring. Everything is honky dory in NZ with our rock star economy as people queue up at the food banks and a bit of bad luck might leave you with a traumatic brain or other injury from an unprovoked attack.

      Or even more sinister is the rising assassinations of people investigating big business.
      Malta car bomb kills Panama Papers journalist

      • When you have Thatcherism type politics for decades with the mantra ‘no such thing as society’ then society breaks down and we are seeing it happening in places like UK, USA and NZ.

        • +100 SAVENZ…well said …I vote you as Prime Minister, whoever you are

          and re “Tinkering with the school system in the 1980’s with tomorrows schools” (…yes that was another Labour Party absolute cock up)

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