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NZ Parliament security review after attack

Officials plan to review security at New Zealand’s parliament after a man armed with an axe smashed the main glass entrance doors.

Police were called to the parliament complex in Wellington just before 0530 (0330 AEDT) on Wednesday after reports a man with an axe was on the grounds.

They say that after smashing the doors, the 31-year-old man did not try to enter the building and was arrested within minutes without further incident.

New Zealand’s 120 MPs are on a summer break and there were few people in the building at the time of the attack.

The man was charged with intentional damage and possession of an offensive weapon. If found guilty, he could face up to seven years in prison.

It was not immediately clear whether the recent attacks at the US Capitol in Washington played any role in inspiring the New Zealand attack.

Rafael Gonzalez-Montero, the chief executive of Parliamentary Service, said it was important to maintain a balance between security and accessibility.

He said the parliament remained a place where people were free to meet and express their opinions, and hundreds of protests were held safely on the grounds every year.

However, he said officials were undertaking a full review of the incident and would assess whether changes to security measures were necessary.

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