Winston won't say if he backs burqa-ban MP

By Hayden Donnell

Richard Prosser believes the burqa should be banned here, but his party leader Winston Peters won't say if that's something he supports - or if he supports Mr Prosser. Photo / Natalie Slade
Richard Prosser believes the burqa should be banned here, but his party leader Winston Peters won't say if that's something he supports - or if he supports Mr Prosser. Photo / Natalie Slade

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has refused to say whether he backs one of his new MP's calls to ban the burqa and arm taxi drivers.

Richard Prosser, who is ranked number four on the New Zealand First list, has been publishing his thinking for nearly 10 years in his Eyes Right column in Ian Wishart's Investigate magazine.

He has railed against the burqa, calling for the traditional Islamic women's head-to-toe to be banned.

"This is my culture and my country, not yours. Get some respect and conform," he wrote.

Other articles called for the introduction of compulsory military training and for police, dairy owners and taxi drivers to be armed.

Party leader Winston Peters this morning refused to answer questions on whether he endorsed Mr Prosser's views.

He would not say whether the Mr Prosser's ideas had been vetted before he was placed on the party's list.

"I'm not interested in everything he wrote over a 10 year journalistic period. I'm more interested in [new North Shore National MP] Maggie Barry's performance on TV."

Mr Prosser this morning told Radio New Zealand his columns did not reflect New Zealand First policy.

Though he stood by his writing, he denied he was anti-immigrant.

"My partner's an immigrant.

"There are some immigrants who come here and don't want to assimilate... I'm against the idea that people can come here and not become part of New Zealand society."

Mr Prosser said he wanted to be a co-operative member of the New Zealand First caucus.

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