Cops quiz MP after protester left hurt

By Liz Wylie, Isaac Davison

AFTERMATH: Protester Tracy Treadwell, sitting down (left) checks her injury after the incident with Chester Borrows' car. PHOTO/
BEVAN CONLEY
AFTERMATH: Protester Tracy Treadwell, sitting down (left) checks her injury after the incident with Chester Borrows' car. PHOTO/ BEVAN CONLEY

Whanganui MP Chester Borrows has been questioned by police after he allegedly drove his car into Trans-Pacific Partnership protesters.

Mr Borrows was confronted by TPP protesters on Tuesday outside Whanganui's Collegiate Motor Inn where he was attending a Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting with Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett.

Police said they were aware of the incident, and confirmed that protester Tracy Treadwell had received a leg injury after allegedly "coming into contact with a vehicle".

"Police are establishing further information about this to assess what further steps are required."

The incident, caught on a Chronicle video, shows a car emblazoned with Mr Borrows' name and face being confronted by a handful of protesters.

The driver slows down, before nudging the protesters with the bonnet. A policeman then clears the protesters out of the way and the car drives away.

Mr Borrows said he did not believe he had struck any of the protesters.

"I was inching forward, they were taken out of the road, and I didn't drive until the road was clear.

"I had no idea that anything had happened, and I am pleased to see that the woman doesn't have any broken bones or anything like that."

He added: "Everyone's got a right to protest, I don't have an issue with that at all. I'm just pleased that the lady is not hurt."

The MP said he saw a post about the incident on Facebook, after which he called the police. They had not contacted him again yet, but he expected to hear from him.

"I am quite happy to talk to the police and to tell them what happened," he said.

Ms Bennett was in Mr Borrows' car at the time.

Ms Treadwell, who was taken to Whanganui Hospital after the incident, said Mr Borrows ran over her foot.

She is recovering at home and has been told by police the matter will be thoroughly investigated.

"My foot is still sore but my knee that was twisted when the car went over my foot is more painful," Ms Treadwell said.

"I have been interviewed by a detective who advised me that there will be a thorough investigation and it could be a lengthy process."

- Wanganui Chronicle

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