The man accused of assaulting Green Party co-leader James Shaw says "sorry to New Zealand" and that he has no animosity towards Shaw.
The man, 47, appeared in Wellington District Court today. He has been charged with injuring Shaw with intent, which carries a maximum penalty of five years.
He entered no plea and was granted interim name suppression.
Shaw was grabbed and hit in the face as he walked to work in central Wellington just before 8am yesterday.
Shaw told media today the assault had caused a small fracture in a bone in the eye socket.
"So no head banging," he joked.
"I feel fine. I have a bit of a sore head and a lot of people have these kinds of incidents occur and come off a lot worse than I do," he told reporters.
Shaw praised a "brave" couple who intervened during the assault outside the entrance to Wellington Botanic Gardens yesterday. His attacker had driven away after being interrupted.
The attacker had looked "vaguely familiar" to him, Shaw said.
The accused left the court telling media that the attack had nothing to do with Shaw, and that he had simply copped it for a different issue that he would talk more about later.
The man's lawyer, Marty Robinson, earlier told the court the man had no plea to enter, and applied for interim name suppression because naming the man would cause severe hardship to himself, his business and his wife, given the widespread media coverage expected of the court appearance.
Judge Ian Mill granted the man bail with conditions, including not to carry out any violence or any threats of any violence, and having no contact with Shaw, including via social media.
He was also told not to travel to south of the Ngauranga Gorge, which would limit any travel to central Wellington.
Judge Mill said he would need to hear arguments to continue name suppression when the man was due to reappear in court on March 29.
The man was supported in court by his wife and family.
Despite the attack, Shaw said he did not believe the one incident dictated an increase in security for MPs.
However he said he had long been concerned about "death threats" and social media abuse fielded by colleagues Golriz Ghahraman and Marama Davidson.
He said he was touched by the messages of support he has had – "I wasn't anticipating that."
Earlier he posted a video to his Twitter followers sporting a black eye.
"I'm ok, I'm back at work and I'm very much looking forward to today's school strike for climate and I hope to see you there," he said.
He thanked the Wellington Free Ambulance, police and hospital staff for their care following the attack.
Shaw threw himself back into work today.
He attended a climate change protest at Parliament shortly before midday and then spoke to media.
A Green Party spokesman this morning told the Herald that his injury was "in a bad way" and he had a suspected fractured eye socket.
According to Trade Minister David Parker, the man who assaulted Shaw shouted something about the United Nations before the attack.
Shaw was "shaken" after the incident, said Greens co-leader Marama Davidson.
Although he came back into work after the incident, Shaw went back to hospital later in the day.
He told media that his injuries "looked worse than it is".
Children from across the country were protesting Climate Change today.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the attack on Shaw showed New Zealand couldn't take for granted how accessible its politicians were.
"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," Ardern said yesterday.
Ardern said that when she spoke to Shaw afterwards, he told her he was "doing fine".
"I tried to encourage him to take whatever time he needed to recover," she said.