Green Party MP Keith Locke suggests that the authorities should be looking much closer to home for the real dangers from political violence.
“While I was quietly going about my business in the middle of a Parliamentary debate last night, Trevor Mallard resorted to violence against Tau Henare only a few metres away in the lobby,” Mr Locke says.
“There may be an argument for the detention of those involved until their potential for violence can be assessed — after all, strong evidence exists that Mr Mallard, while acting under a deep sense of historical and recent grievance, crossed the line from anger and resentment and put into effect a plan to do actual damage to Mr Henare.
“The evidence for this outrage may be stronger than that regarding some of those caught up in the recent anti-terrorism raids.
“The irony of a senior Minister getting involved in such an altercation on the same day that his Government had the second hearing debate on its draconian anti-terrorism legislation will not be lost on the public.
“Personally, I think I would be more in fear of violence from Mr Mallard than from Rongomai Bailey – one of the accused in the recent police swoops – who I know well, and visited in Mt Eden prison the day before his release on bail,” Mr Locke says.