Labour MP 'physically abused' at Manawatu meeting

  • 20/09/2017
Iain Lees-Galloway was abused at a meeting in Manawatu on Wednesday.
Iain Lees-Galloway was abused at a meeting in Manawatu on Wednesday. Photo credit: Facebook - Iain Lees-Galloway

Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says he was physically abused at a water tax meeting on Wednesday night in Manawatu.

Mr Lees-Galloway left the meeting which began aggressively when chairman Brad Burling questioned whether it should be Labour's water spokesperson David Parker or Mr Lees-Galloway he should "rip into" over the policy.

The Palmerston North MP was on the phone to Mr Parker when a farmer approached him at the Oroua Downs community hall and started to talk down the phone to his colleague, who was not able to attend.

"I asked him to leave the front of the room and I was physically pushed," Mr Lees-Galloway told Stuff.

Mr Parker advised Mr Lees-Galloway to leave the meeting because of the abuse he received - but the abuse didn't end when he left.

"When I was leaving in my van, a person made eye contact, and collided with me," he said.

"I didn't feel safe and did not feel it was a productive meeting. I will not tolerate being physically abused."

Mr Lees-Galloway said he chose not to press charges despite reporting the incident to police.

Federated Farmers national vice-president Andrew Hoggard said one of the farmers in attendance made an indecent comment towards Mr Lees-Galloway.

Mr Lees-Galloway left the meeting after 10 minutes, despite it being scheduled to run for an hour.

Mr Hoggard said there was talk about water quality before the meeting ended abruptly.

Despite the one "grumpy" attendee, "the other 54 people told him to sit down, but Iain Lees-Galloway stormed out and took his phone with him. So we lost both politicians," Mr Hoggard said.