Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Contrite Prosser humbled by evening spent with Muslim couple

MP Richard Prosser, Khayreyah Wahaab and her husband Jason (Naveed) Kennedy. Photos / Mark Mitchell, Natalie Slade
MP Richard Prosser, Khayreyah Wahaab and her husband Jason (Naveed) Kennedy. Photos / Mark Mitchell, Natalie Slade

Two weeks after his anti-Muslim column was published, NZ First MP Richard Prosser has shared a "lovely" meal and "humbling" evening with the young Muslim couple who wrote to the Herald to challenge his comments.

Mr Prosser had dinner at the home of Jason Kennedy and Khayreyah (Khay) Wahaab, who wrote an open letter to the NZ First MP about his Investigate magazine column, which called for young Muslim men from "Wogistan" to be banned from flying and described Islam as "a stone age religion".

Arriving with a peace offering of a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates, Mr Prosser "embraced us with a friendly smile", Khay said.

The couple shared a meal of tandoori chicken, but Mr Prosser said he also received "a little bit of a grilling and that's fair enough".

The derogatory language he used in the column wasn't specifically brought up, but the views behind it were and Mr Prosser said he apologised for what he said was "horribly wrong" and written in a desperate rush to meet a deadline.

"In the end we both agreed that there was a lack of judgment on Richard's behalf, and that he probably shouldn't be writing articles at 4am following a week of no sleep," Khay said.

She said Mr Prosser seemed to understand his position as an MP meant he needed to be "mindful of the way in which he makes his opinion known".

"More importantly, we do believe he understands why he should be apologising.

"After speaking with the man, I am fully convinced his heart is in the right place and he is honest in his contrition."

Mr Prosser said he was grateful for the hospitality and understanding the couple had shown him.

"They're wonderful people, genuine polite and welcoming and it was really humbling actually."

Mr Prosser and the couple plan to remain in touch and are arranging a visit to a mosque in Ranui.

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