In the District Court at Auckland Native Forest Action campaigner Neil Able has been awarded $8500 in damages against National MP Gerry Brownlee for being manhandled out of a National Party meeting.
RNZ has reported that after the decision of the court was delivered, Mr Brownlee said it had been a “humbling experience” sitting in court for the past two days. He also told reporters he accepted the damages award as “fair”.
The judge - also according to RNZ - said that the failure of the police to act on a complaint was an irrelevant consideration.
The judge said Mr Brownlee’s assault did not warrant “exemplary” damages of $60,000 sought by Able.
$8500 was sufficient to condemn the defendant, he said, remarking also that Mr Brownlee had already been published through the public embarrassment of the prosecution.