The National Party has expressed support for veteran MP Jacqui Dean after an incident last week in which it is alleged she was the victim of an attack with a blunt instrument.
The altercation is believed to have taken place last Monday in Oamaru, which she represents in Parliament, just days after Dean found her name dragged into an unrelated political stoush in Wellington.
"Jacqui has kept us informed and we have re-iterated we are here to support her should she need anything at all," a spokesperson for National told the Herald of the Oamaru incident. "We expect to see Jacqui back in Parliament this week where she will continue to work hard on behalf of her Waitaki constituency."
The spokesperson declined to comment further on the case because it is before the courts.
Contacted Sunday morning by the Herald, Dean also declined to comment.
Police have confirmed that a woman has been summoned to appear at Oamaru District Court on December 15 regarding a charge of assaulting a person with a blunt instrument.
If convicted, the person could face up to five years' prison.
It is alleged the woman who was charged tried to hit the MP with her car following an argument that was not about politics but instead related to their dogs, according to Stuff. Dean was not hurt in the incident, Stuff reported.
On November 24, five days before the Oamaru incident, the politician inadvertently found herself in the spotlight after then-National leader Judith Collins cited Dean as a reason for demoting potential leadership challenger Simon Bridges.
Collins, who was ousted from party leadership soon after the move, said Bridges had shared crude comments with Dean during a function five years ago.
"They were not about me, but they were inappropriate and not something I wanted to hear," Dean confirmed in a statement the following afternoon.
"What matters to me is that all of us have a clear understanding of what behaviour we should expect in a modern workplace environment. Simon and I have spoken a number of times over the past few hours and he has reiterated his apology."
She reflected more on the incident - and Collins' belated response - in a Facebook post.
"It was certainly not my intention for past issues to be thrust into the spotlight as they were," Dean said. "I took no pleasure in being caught up in what was a political power-play that took attention away from the important issues of the day."