Councillor stuns board with Ku Klux Klan outfit

A resident on the Kapiti Coast is defending his decision to turn up to a local council meeting dressed in a Ku Klux Klan outfit.

Local community board member Dale Evans says he wore the costume to yesterday's meeting to protest against National Hoodie Day today.

The Paraparaumu-Raumati Community Board deputy chairman walked into the Kapiti District Council's monthly meeting during public speaking time, dressed in the white outfit with a sign around his neck that said "its wotz under da hood dat counts" - mimicking the slogan used in a current national hoodie campaign.

Mr Evans says hoodies are not an appropriate article of clothing to celebrate.

He believes that young people wear them for the wrong reasons and problems arise when police are unable to identify who is beneath the hood on security tapes.

But after the meeting, deputy mayor Ann Chapman said it was appalling to use a serious episode of racism in American history as an analogy to the hoodie campaign.

"It was outrageous - a poorly chosen disguise and disrespectful to what some American black people went through in the deep south," Mrs Chapman told the Dominion Post.

John Haxton, Paraparaumu-Raumati Community Board chairman, said Mr Evans should have brought the water issue up at a community board meeting, rather than resorting to dressing up.

Kapiti Mayor Jenny Rowan agreed. However, Mr Evans "was exercising his democratic right".

Mr Evans says the KKK outfit was not meant to cause offence and he does not believe he has lost support from the community because of his actions. He says like the motto of the day, he wants people to remember it is what is underneath the racist regalia that counts.

- NEWSTALK ZB, NZPA

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