WELLINGTON: After a man armed with an axe shattered the main glass entrance doors early on Wednesday, authorities intend to review security at New Zealand’s parliament.
After receiving information that a man with an axe was on the street, police said they were called to the Parliament complex in Wellington shortly before 5:30am. Police said that the 31-year-old man did not attempt to enter the structure after breaking the doors and was arrested without further incident within minutes.
The 120 lawmakers in New Zealand are actually on a summer break, and at the time of the attack, there were few people in the room.
The man was convicted of malicious destruction and possession of an offensive firearm. He could face up to seven years in jail if found guilty. A judge briefly suppressed the identity of the man, a widespread occurrence in the legal system in New Zealand.
If the recent attacks at the US Capitol in Washington played some part in encouraging the New Zealand attack was not immediately apparent.
The Chief Executive of the Parliamentary Service, Rafael Gonzalez-Montero, said that maintaining a balance between security and accessibility was critical.
I am proud that the Parliament of New Zealand is one of the world’s most transparent, accessible parliaments, and I very much hope this will continue, he said in a tweet. The people of New Zealand belong to our parliament, and it is extremely necessary for our democracy that people can effectively visit and engage with their parliament and elected officials.