8 Dec 2015

Axe attack leaves pastor mystified

6:01 pm on 8 December 2015

A Hawke's Bay pastor has spoken out about a terrifying experience in which he and his wife were attacked as they returned to their Flaxmere home.

Nigel Woodley said they were returning home on Saturday night when they saw a tall, well-built man outside, with what turned out to be an axe.

The man spoke to them but the only word he caught was "utu [revenge]".

Mr Woodley said he ended up struggling with the man and was knocked to the ground and hit.

He had no idea what motivated the attack.

"We believe strongly in the right of the Jewish people to live in the state of Israel in their ancient biblical land, and whether there are people disgruntled about the way we believe and want to take it out on us, we don't know.

"Or is it just a random attack of someone who may be mentally disturbed?"

The attack, which police are investigating, left Mr Woodley with four staples in his head.