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'We're shaken' - MPs across political spectrum condemn 'horrific' attack on James Shaw

Green Party's Marama Davidson has addressed media today after her co-leader James Shaw was allegedly attacked while walking to work this morning

"He's shaken... we're shaken, but the messages of support are overwhelming and we're focused on supporting James," Ms Davidson said.

At the time Mr Shaw was still in hospital for "cautionary measures", and when asked how Mr Shaw was doing, Ms Davidson said he was "understandably in shock". 

Mr Shaw had gone to work straight after the incident, however he then went to hospital for observation and is now resting at home.

"Typically he just wanted to keep working, but it's really important that he's resting today at the very least."

Other MPs today condemned the incident.

National's Paula Bennett described it as "horrific".

"No one should feel unsafe and have that kind of violence against them. Violence is not OK."

When asked if she had ever been made to feel unsafe, Ms Bennett said there were three occasions "where I felt I could be physically hurt, and had to call the police and have assistance". 

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    The 1 NEWS political editor explains the incident this morning, which landed Mr Shaw in hospital. Source: 1 NEWS

    "Sometimes there are people who are filled with rage and sometimes they see politicians as the people they can take that out on."

    "It's not acceptable at any level, get the help you obviously need."

    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters called what happened to Mr Shaw a "damn disgrace". 

    "Maybe we should beef up the sense of law abiding behaviour," he said when asked about the level of security around MPs. "That sort of thing happens to New Zealand citizens all the time."

    Green's Golriz Ghahraman said she had felt worried for her safety when she had received threats. 

    "Which is numerous unfortunately."

    Labour's Grant Robertson was in the meeting Mr Shaw attended before he went to hospital. 

    "It was reasonably obvious there had been an incident. He seemed good, but clearly this is an experience that would shake any of us."

    "This is a horrible thing to have happened."

    Mr Robertson had received threats himself, but said there were processes to go through in those occasions. 

    Dunedin South MP Clare Curran said she had not received any personal threats herself but she has been concerned for her Dunedin staff in the past.  

    However, she and other MPs spoke about the importance of the public's accessibility to MPs.

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      The safety of MPs is being called into question, but they say their level of accessibility is important. Source: 1 NEWS


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