By AINSLEY THOMSON

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters may lay a police complaint after one of his MPs was attacked in a Wellington street early yesterday.

Brian Donnelly is believed to have been left bloodied after the incident outside the Hummingbird restaurant on Courtenay Place at 3am.

A group of politicians and journalists were at the restaurant following a press gallery party at Parliament.

Mr Peters would not confirm the incident to the Herald last night.

But he did say he was considering taking a matter to the police.

A Hummingbird staff member declined to comment. The restaurant-bar is popular with politicians and journalists.

TV One last night reported a witness seeing Mr Peters being hassled by several people as he was getting into a taxi outside the restaurant.

The witness said Mr Donnelly came out to help and was hit in the face by one of the group, then the others joined in.

The attackers fled, leaving 52-year-old Mr Donnelly, a former Auckland and Northland rugby league representative, bloodied and bruised. The NZ First MPs were reported to have gone to the house of a TV One journalist to clean up.

A police constable who was on duty in Wellington Central at the time said he was not aware of any confrontation.

The incident happened one block away from the Cafe Brava, where Mr Peters was involved in a late night confrontation with NZPA editor John Crowley during the coalition talks in 1996.

Mr Peters ran strongly on the issue of law and order during the last election campaign.

His party claimed New Zealand had "changed from being safe to a crime-ridden, ill-disciplined and violent society".