A Labour MP admits he went too far when he suggested a convicted killer and paedophile should be scalped in prison.
Stuart Nash, who is Labour's police spokesman, responded angrily on Facebook after convicted murderer Phillip John Smith won a legal challenge against the Corrections Department yesterday over the confiscation of his toupee.
In a decision released yesterday, the High Court ruled that Smith's right to freedom of expression was breached when his hairpiece was taken from him.
Writing on Facebook last night, Nash said: "What on earth is going on when a judge rules that a convicted murderer and paedophile's freedom of expression was ignored and that his rights had been breached because Corrections took his hairpiece?
"He has no rights!! He sexually abused a young boy and then 4 years later stabbed this boy's father to death as the man tried to protect his son!"
Nash went on to suggest that a fellow inmate should scalp Smith.
"Scalping is associated with American Indians but it was actually started by Europeans.
"Perhaps someone in jail who isn't too fond of monsters who destroy little boys[sic] lives by stealing their innocence in the worst way possible could reintroduce Mr Smith to the practise[sic]."
Nash, who is the MP for Napier, later deleted the post.
He said his wife Sarah told him to remove it: "She said it probably wasn't the kind of statement an MP should be making."
Nash said he made the comments because he "loathed paedophiles", and because Smith was "at the bottom of the heap".
But he conceded that he "went a bit far" and that encouraging an inmate to harm Smith was "probably not prudent".
Smith is serving a life sentence for the 1995 murder of the father of a 12-year-old Wellington boy he had been molesting.
He escaped from prison in November 2014 and fled to Rio de Janeiro, using the toupee as a disguise.
When the hairpiece was taken from him for his subsequent court appearances, he said he felt "belittled, degraded and humiliated".
Corrections Minister Louise Upston said yesterday she was only concerned for Smith's victims.
"My view and my concern is actually for the victims of the prisoner concerned. His victims are the victims."
Labour candidates and MPs were recently told to "clean up" their social media profiles to remove any incriminating photographs or negative comments about the party.
Nash said he had not heard from the party about his Facebook comments.