Radio broadcaster Michael Laws was assaulted at a Wanganui bar on Friday, in what he says was a cowardly and unprovoked attack.
The firebrand talkback host and Wanganui district councillor said in a statement he and a companion had entered the bar - which police said was Caroline's Celtic on Victoria St - about 11.30pm after attending another function earlier that evening.
"As I walked into the area of the bar where the band was playing I was attacked from behind by an assailant. It was entirely unprovoked and I had neither exchanged words nor looks with this individual."
He said he was not seriously hurt but suffered some damage to his right eye, cheekbone and mouth.
Wanganui police Sergeant Colin Wright said a couple of porcelain veneers were knocked from Mr Laws' teeth when he was punched in side of the head.
Mr Laws said he was not able to confirm rumours that the individual was a gang member - "although I would not be surprised".
"I have encountered continuing attempts to intimidate myself and my family since championing Wanganui's anti-gang legislation.
"It has never intimidated me and neither will this. In fact, exactly the reverse. The person who did this was a coward."
According to witnesses the attacker was Pakeha and wearing a green and black hoodie to conceal his identity, Mr Laws said.
Mr Wright said the bar did have a CCTV camera but the footage had not been obtained yet. However it was thought the camera was not trained on the area of the bar where the incident occurred.
Police had no suspects and there was nothing to indicate what had motivated the attack.
"He's a man who's obviously quite forthright in his opinions and not everyone agrees with those opinions, but whether this happened because of who he is or whether it was a random attack we just don't know," Mr Wright said.
Mr Laws is a former mayor of the city.