He is scheduled to appear at Wellington District Court later this morning.
Police were called just before 5.30am after the man was seen with the axe.
The man smashed five glass panels at the main entrance to the Parliament buildings.
The entranceway is now blocked off by metal barriers and RNZ reporter Ben Strang told Morning Report an industrial hoover had been used to clean-up the glass debris.
He said the man hadn't actually tried to enter Parliament and they were able to arrest him without any further incident.