Greens co-leader Marama Davidson says party shocked by James Shaw attack

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson says she hopes the attack on her colleague James Shaw won't mean politicians will become inaccessible to the public. 

"I would hate to see New Zealand stop having that access," she told media in Parliament on Thursday. 

"We are all quite shaken, we are all quite upset for our friend; we are pulling together."

When asked if Shaw knew the person who had attacked him, Davidson replied: "This seems to be an individual random attack."

It's understood two members of the public helped him, and a spokesperson for Shaw said he is "very thankful for their assistance".

Newshub understands the Climate Change Minister has bruising around his eye from the incident. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expressed similar sentiment to Davidson about the attack, telling media: "We've always been proud of the fact that in New Zealand we are accessible, and I think politicians like to be accessible - we're here to serve people after all.

"But I don't think we can take that for granted."

The Prime Minister and acting prime ministers are the only ministers to get the Diplomatic Protection Service's round-the-clock armed protection. 

In a statement, Ms Ardern said: "When you go into politics in New Zealand you just don't expect these things to happen, and I know it will be especially challenging for loved ones.

"I think all of us will probably be united in wanting to ensure we have the kind of political environment where everyone can hold their views, but they can do that safely."

She said she had had the opportunity to speak to Shaw, and said, "Whilst he of course he says that he is well, of course this is an incredibly unprovoked, surprising thing to have happened and obviously completely caught him off guard."

Wellington police Snr Sgt Matthew Morris said on Thursday the assault on Shaw took place at around 7:50am outside the entrance to the Botanical Gardens in Wellington.

"We understand members of the public have assisted the victim and we believe there may also be other witnesses to the incident," he said.

The Greens co-leader went to Wellington Hospital for a precautionary check-up, despite turning up to work "chipper", his spokesperson told Newshub.

Shaw has received messages of support from politicians on both sides of the spectrum, with National leader Simon Bridges saying on Twitter: "Violence is never ok. From myself and the National Party we wish James Shaw a fast recovery."

Wellington police have asked anyone with information to call (04) 381 2000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.