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Don Brash confronted by sword-wielding man

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/08/2016
Don Brash at an ACT party campaign in 2011. © Getty Images Don Brash at an ACT party campaign in 2011.

An Auckland Council candidate has had a frightening start to his campaign after being threatened by a "hysterical" sword-wielding man.

Ngapuhi leader David Rankin was launching his campaign for a seat on the Waitakere ward in on Monday, and was joined by former National Party leader and Reserve Bank governor Don Brash.

Mr Rankin said an interview with television crews at the launch was abruptly ended when a man carrying a sword got out of a car and approached him and Dr Brash.

"He was ranting hysterically and threatening us with his sword," Mr Rankin said in a statement.

The man also had a young boy with him and Mr Rankin tried to calm him down while police were called, he said.

"My main concern was for that young boy."

Dr Brash says the sword was about a metre long and appeared to be ceremonial.

"He was clearly talking quite irrationally. It was hard to tell whether he was under the influence of something or literally mentally unstable," he told RNZ.

He described the boy as looking "uneasy" and said the man didn't look like he was going to attack anyone - but rather was just waving the weapon around.

The television crews and the candidates left the scene promptly, Dr Brash said.

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