WELLINGTON: Security personnel inspect the front doors of parliament smashed by a man armed with an axe.—AP
WELLINGTON: Security personnel inspect the front doors of parliament smashed by a man armed with an axe.—AP

WELLINGTON: Officials plan to review security at New Zealand’s parliament after a man armed with an axe smashed the main glass entrance doors early on Wednesday.

Police said they were called to the Parliament complex in Wellington just before 5:30am after getting reports that a man with an axe was on the grounds. Police said that after smashing the doors, the 31-year-old man didn’t try to enter the building and was arrested within minutes without further incident.

New Zealand’s 120 lawmakers are currently on a summer break, and there were few people in the building at the time of the attack.

The man has been charged with intentional damage and possession of an offensive weapon. If found guilty, he could face up to seven years in prison. A judge temporarily suppressed the man’s name, a common practice in New Zealand’s justice system.

It was not immediately clear whether the recent attacks at the US Capitol in Washington played any role in inspiring the New Zealand attack.

Rafael Gonzalez-Montero, the chief executive of Parliamentary Service, said it was important to maintain a balance between security and accessibility.

I am proud that the New Zealand Parliament is one of the most open, accessible parliaments in the world and I very much hope that this continues, he said in a statement. Our parliament belongs to the people of New Zealand, and it is incredibly important to our democracy that people are able to visit, and interact with their parliament and elected representatives with ease.

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2021

Opinion

Baloch paradox
15 Jan 2021

Baloch paradox

‘Why couldn’t my village have a school?’
Salute the Hazaras
Updated 14 Jan 2021

Salute the Hazaras

The nation has reason to be grateful to the Hazaras for setting models of forbearance in the face of calamity.

Editorial

Updated 15 Jan 2021

Trump’s impeachment

The impeachment move may well remain symbolic in nature; even then, the symbolism itself is a potent one.
15 Jan 2021

Economic growth

MOODY’S Investors Service expects Pakistan’s economy to grow by a modest 1.5pc in FY2021, much higher than the...
15 Jan 2021

Madressah students

GETTING students of madressahs involved in politics is a bad idea, primarily because seminarians should be...
14 Jan 2021

Afghan dialogue

AS the Afghan Taliban and the government in Kabul try and reach a modus vivendi in Doha, it is essential that the...
14 Jan 2021

Polio dangers

IN the first incident of its kind this year, a policeman guarding polio vaccinators was gunned down in KP’s Karak...