Nicholas Jones is a New Zealand Herald political reporter.

Attack on Anne Tolley's office likely to result in arrests

An attempt to firebomb Social Development Minister Anne Tolley's office to protest the TPP is likely to result in arrests, she says.

Early this morning a hole was smashed in reinforced glass at the front of her Whakatane office and two Molotov cocktails thrown inside.

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The tiled floor in the office prevented fire taking hold but the building has suffered extensive smoke damage. Graffiti was also scrawled on the wall outside.

Police were alerted to the damage just after 6am, and Ms Tolley is now at the office with staff. She told the Herald that the concerted attack meant the culprits were in the area for some time.

"Police are still here gathering evidence ... they have got quite a lot of evidence ... they are checking things like CCTV. They seem quite hopeful that they might get some good leads.

"We were saved really by a tiled foyer area ... there was nothing to catch alight. It is pretty disturbing, and when the police tell you it was a very determined attack, it does shake you up a bit."

General view of the fire damage inside the office of National MP Anne Tolley in Whakatane which was discovered this morning. Photo / Alan Gibson
General view of the fire damage inside the office of National MP Anne Tolley in Whakatane which was discovered this morning. Photo / Alan Gibson

The graffiti said: "F*** TPPA & John Key", but the spelling of the Prime Minister's name was incorrect.

The attack comes amid high tensions for the Government over the signing of the TPP and Waitangi protests. National ministers Gerry Brownlee and Nikki Kaye have also had their offices attacked by those opposed to the TPP.

There was a peaceful anti-TPP protest in Whakatane yesterday. Ms Tolley, who has four offices in the region, said some of those protesters had been in touch today to voice their disgust at the attack.

"No one condones this sort of violence. One of the local kaumatua has come in and blessed the office ... communities do not like those sorts of violent and extreme actions."

- NZ Herald

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