MP has past in Central

22:23, Feb 13 2013
tdn op stand
Richard Prosser

Central Otago council members are not surprised by comments from former mayoral candidate Richard Prosser, saying his views are "extreme" in many areas.

Mr Prosser hit headlines this week after writing a provocative column for Investigate magazine entitled Enemy of the State, which said: "If you are a young male, aged between, say, about 19 and about 35, and you're a Muslim, or you look like a Muslim, or you come from a Muslim country, then you are not welcome to travel on any of the West's airlines."

Mr Prosser apologised yesterday during a radio interview for the lack of balance in his column.

Mr Prosser, a qualified winemaker and viticulturist with experience in the irrigation industry, unsuccessfully ran for both Central Otago Mayor and for a position on the council in 2007.

In 2005 he stood for the Democrats for Social Credit election in the Otago electorate and in 2011 was elected as a NZ First list MP.

Central Otago Mayor Tony Lepper said he thought the comments "were out of order".

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"Thankfully he's not the mayor of Central," Mr Lepper said.

Central Otago District councillor Martin McPherson said: "I find it quite amazing the amount of frantic back-pedalling Mr Prosser is doing. He is struggling to extract his leg from his throat."

However, he was not surprised by Mr Prosser's comments.

After receiving Mr Prosser's book Uncommon Dissent as a Christmas present "I found his views are extreme in many areas".

"I was surprised when he made the NZ First list and even more surprised when he made it to Parliament," Mr McPherson said.

The Southland Times