Man dies after setting himself on fire at New Zealand parliament

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 September, 2017, 10:11am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 September, 2017, 10:12am

A man who set himself on fire outside New Zealand’s parliament days ahead of a general election has died of his injuries, police said Friday.

The man turned himself into a human torch outside the Wellington building known as the Beehive on Thursday afternoon, with police saying he later died after being taken to hospital in a critical condition.

Police have not identified the man and say his motivation was unknown, although media reports said he appeared to be staging a one-man protest outside parliament.

Radio New Zealand said witnesses reported seeing the man holding a placard relating to the family court.

Police have described the self immolation as “highly unusual and extremely unfortunate”.

New Zealand is in the midst of a tightly contested election campaign in which conservative Prime Minister Bill English is battling a challenge from centre-left rival Jacinda Ardern.