Wilkinson dodges Prosser comments

CATE BROUGHTON
Last updated 12:19 13/02/2013

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Waimakariri MP Kate Wilkinson has distanced herself from controversial comments made by North Canterbury-based New Zealand First MP Richard Prosser.


Mr Prosser angered many, including his fellow New Zealand First MPs by writing an inflammatory article published in Investigate magazine in which he said young Muslim men should not be allowed to board ''Western'' planes.

In a statement Ms Wilkinson acknowledged the comments may have been upsetting for Muslim people in the community.


"I am not really prepared to comment on Mr Prosser's statements but I do extend my support to members of the community who may have suffered hurt or humiliation as a result.''


''I have always celebrated our nation's diversity and prefer to focus rather on our shared values and common purposes."

Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove, who ran for the Waimakariri seat in the last election said the comments were ridiculous, shameful and embarrassing.


''It's idiocy.  I mean under Richard Prosser's idea Sonny Bill Williams, who I am advised is a Muslim, and under the age threshold wouldn't have been allowed on a plane when he was an All Black.''


Mr Cosgrove suggested Mr Prosser was as unbalanced.


''If his article was unbalanced, he wrote it so maybe he's unbalanced.''


He expected the people of Waimakariri to reject the comments as ridiculous.

''I suspect they will be of a similar vain and just say this is ridiculous and stupid, whether they are Muslims or not, this is embarrassing, this is just idiocy.''


''The community doesn't want MPs who say stupid things, who insult people.''


Mr Cosgrove said terrorism was not restricted to one race or religion.

''Everyone condemns terrorism or criminal behaviour or people assaulting, killing, murdering others but I'd make an argument - that that's cross cultural, across religions and across races.

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