New Zealand First MP Richard Prosser has been labelled a coward after failing to front up for a public meeting.
Locals were greeted with a "cancelled" sign outside the meeting venue, the Aro Valley Community Centre in Wellington this afternoon, and Prosser did not turn up.
New Zealand First has admitted his no show was because of the backlash over his controversial comments about Muslims.
A local outside the meeting venue said she thought the no show was "a bit cowardly".
Another local said it was a really bad look and made Prosser "look like a chicken".
Prosser was meant to be giving his first speech this afternoon since the controversy over comments he made about Muslims in a column in Investigate magazine.
He wrote: "If the greatest identifiable threat to modern aviation security is posed by young Muslim males, then surely the answer is to prohibit young Muslim males from flying on aeroplanes."
He went on to add: "If the belief systems of ancient history are so important to you, and the advances of the decadent West so abhorrent, go ride a camel instead."
"He's not welcome here because we don't want that sort of attitude. We don't need neo-fascists here or anywhere else in New Zealand." a man told ONE News outside the meeting.
Prosser's speech was meant to be about how New Zealand First will move the country forward, but the party was not so forward about the cancellation of the meeting.
ONE News repeatedly called the number on a notice advertising the meeting to find out the reason for Prosser's no show. At first the number just rang, then it went straight to voicemail.
Then our reporter rang Prosser directly, but he wasn't answering his phone.
Eventually a member of New Zealand First, Brent Pierson, did show up at the meeting venue. He said the meeting had been cancelled on Thursday as a direct result of the outrage over Prosser's Investigate column.
"We're not interested in conflict. We want to have a proper debate, but people are not in that mood at the moment," said Pierson.
He said the no show was not the cowards way out.
However, angry locals might take more convincing of that.
Since the outrage over his column, Prosser has apologised for his remarks, which were made after he was stopped from carrying his pocket knife on a flight in Christchurch.
He said during the week that he will not resign as an MP.
MPs across the House agreed to make a public statement distancing themselves from Prosser's comments.
However none of the parties in Parliament has ruled out a future coalition deal with a New Zealand First Party that includes Prosser.