Richard Prosser

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Richard Prosser
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for New Zealand First party list
In office
26 November 2011 – 23 September 2017
Personal details
Born (1967-01-15) 15 January 1967 (age 53)[1]
West Auckland, New Zealand
Political partyNew Zealand First (2010–2017)

Richard Ivor Prosser (born 15 January 1967) is a New Zealand politician and a former member of the New Zealand House of Representatives. He is a former member of New Zealand First party and was first selected as a list MP at the 2011 election.

Early life[edit]

Prosser was born in West Auckland and spent his early life in the Waikato.[2] He later moved to Otago and took up wine making.[3] He is a former columnist for Investigate magazine.[4]

Political career[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
2011–2014 50th List 4 NZ First
2014–2017 51st List 3 NZ First

Prosser stood for the Democrats for Social Credit in the 2005 election in the Otago electorate. He was ranked fourth on their party list but the party failed to get any MPs elected. Prosser later ran for the Central Otago mayoralty in 2007[3] and came last in the election contested by three applicants.[5] He also contested the 2007 local elections for a position as Central Otago District councillor in the Earnscleugh-Manuherikia Ward, but came third of three contenders.[6]

Prosser founded the South Island Party in 2008.[4][7] However the party chose not to register for the 2008 parliamentary elections;[8] instead, they decided that a more effective course of action would be to merge itself into the non-partisan South Island First, a lobby group advocating greater self-determination for the South Island.[9][10]

Prosser joined New Zealand First in 2010 after attending a party meeting and was later elected to the party's board of directors.[11]

Prosser stood for New Zealand First at the 2011 election and was ranked fourth on their party list.[12] He ran unsuccessfully as a candidate for the Waimakariri electorate, getting 538 votes, but was selected from the party list and sat in the 50th Parliament. At the time, he was one of two New Zealand First MPs from the greater Christchurch area; the other being Denis O'Rourke.[13]

Prosser attracted controversy after being elected to Parliament when it was publicised that in an edition of the Investigate magazine, he had previously been advocating for banning the burqa in New Zealand.[14][15][16][17]

In 2013, Prosser voted against the Marriage Amendment Bill, which aims to permit same sex marriage in New Zealand, with all of his fellow New Zealand First MPs.[18]

Writing career[edit]

Prosser has written the 'Eyes Right' column in the Investigate magazine for ten years.[19] In his columns, he suggested various political ideas including compulsory conscription in New Zealand.[20]

Prosser released the book Uncommon Dissent in January 2012 outlining his political opinions, in which he refers to himself as a "Kiwi Nationalist".[21] His claims in the book that "New Zealand society, Western society in general, has been hijacked by a conspiracy of Silly Little Girls" attracted heavy criticism from the Wellington Young Feminists Collective and the feminist blog Hand Mirror.[22][23]

Writing for Investigate magazine in February 2013, Prosser stated; "If you are a young male, aged between say about 19 and about 35, and you're a Muslim, or you look like a Muslim, or you come from a Muslim country, then you are not welcome to travel on any of the West's airlines".[24] Prosser further stated that the rights of New Zealanders' were being "denigrated by a sorry pack of misogynist troglodytes from Wogistan, threatening our way of life and security of travel in the name of their stone age religion, its barbaric attitudes towards women, democracy, and individual choice". Prosser wrote that "Abdul" should not be allowed to fly, and should instead "go ride a camel".[25] It subsequently emerged that Prosser's column was written after a pocket-knife he was carrying had been confiscated by airport security.[26] NZ First leader Winston Peters initially said that he would not apologise for Prosser's conduct, that he had been writing in his capacity as a columnist, as opposed to an MP, that Prosser stood by his statements, and that he had spoken to Prosser about the article as the article "lacked balance".[27]

Subsequently, Prosser came under criticism from the Government and Opposition parties for the content of his article. Prosser stated that his intention had been to draw attention to the issue of passenger profiling at airports, and stated that his writing style was intentionally one of a "shock jock". He initially refused to apologise,[28] but later admitted his article lacked balance, apologising for the offence that he had caused. He stated he would not continue to write for Investigate magazine.[29][30]

In March 2013 the United Nations' Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said it "regrets" Prosser's remarks, and "welcomes the strong criticism of such statements by the Minister of Justice and Ethnic Affairs and the Race Relations Commissioner, among others".[31]


  1. ^ "New Zealand Parliament - Prosser, Richard". Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  2. ^ "Candidates". NZ First. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Winemaker latest hopeful for Central Otago mayor". The Southland Times. 6 August 2007. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  4. ^ a b Cheng, Derek (26 November 2011). "Triumphant Peters claims victory". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Central Otago District Mayor". Local elections. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  6. ^ "Central Otago District Council - Earnscleugh-Manuherikia Ward". Local Elections. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  7. ^ Prosser, Richard (24 July 2007). "Candidate calls for Southern Assembly". Scoop. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  8. ^ "Broadcasting allocation 2008 - final allocation decision". New Zealand Electoral Commission. 10 October 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2008.
  9. ^ Reply by Richard Prosser to the editorial "'Greater' Auckland", in the Otago Daily Times (19 October 2010). Retrieved 2 November 2010.
  10. ^ Price, Mark (10 December 2011). "Independent thinking (page 1) | Otago Daily Times Online News : Otago, South Island, New Zealand & International News". Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  11. ^ Dickison, Michael (29 November 2011). "Election 2011: New kids on the block". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  12. ^ "Party lists for the 2011 General Election". Elections New Zealand. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  13. ^ Moore, Martin (26 November 2011). "Two NZ First MPs for Christchurch". The Press. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  14. ^ Smith, Cullen (7 December 2011). "New NZ First MP: Ban the Burqa". Star Canterbury. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  15. ^ Donnell, Hayden (8 December 2012). "Winston won't say if supports burqa-ban MP". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  16. ^ "NZ First newbie won't be shy". Fairfax NZ News. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  17. ^ "Eyes Right When in Rome". Richard Prosser. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  18. ^ "Marriage equality bill: How MPs voted". The New Zealand Herald. 29 August 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  19. ^ "Columnist to Stand for NZ First". 6 October 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  20. ^ "Eyes Right Richard..." Facebook. 7 December 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  21. ^ "'Ban the Burqa' MP's Book Goes Further | Scoop News" (Press release). Investigate Magazine. 31 January 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  22. ^ "InvestigateDaily – Feminists plan pigtail protest over Prosser book". 1 February 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  23. ^ Julie (31 January 2012). "The Hand Mirror: MCP Watch: Richard Prosser MP". Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  24. ^ NZ First MP: Ban Muslims from flights New Zealand Herald, 12 February 2013.
  25. ^ "Parties coy on Coalition with NZ First after MP's "Wogistan" rant". TVNZ. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  26. ^ "Editorial: The man revealed". 18 February 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  27. ^ Andrea, Vance. "MP's "Wogistan" rant too extreme". Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  28. ^ "No apology over Muslim statements". 3 News NZ. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  29. ^ Vernon, Small. ""Wogistan" MP should resign - Islamic leader". Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  30. ^ Burr, Lloyd (13 February 2013). "Prosser says 'sorry'... kind of". 3 News NZ. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  31. ^ "Prosser's anti-Muslim rant reaches UN". 3 News NZ. 4 March 2013.

External links[edit]