Public being urged to ignore National MP who encouraged coronavirus panic buying

Source: 1News

People are being urged to ignore a senior National Party MP who encouraged the public to panic buy during the coronavirus outbreak.

David Bennett told a Hamilton radio show of Free FM this week the public “should be out panic buying.”

Despite the remark being broadcast, the MP denied saying it when approached for comment by 1 NEWS.

“Well I didn't say panic buying - what I said is people can do what they want and if they want to do anything in this circumstance it's up to them,” Mr Bennett said.

Other politicians were seriously unimpressed by his radio appearance.

“Calm and sensible behaviour is what the order of the day should be - that sort of statement is of no help to anyone,” Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said.

Even Mr Bennett’s National teammates are distancing themselves from his views.

“I haven't heard those comments, but the National Party view is that panic buying isn't necessary or appropriate,” Michael Woodhouse said.

Mr Bennett also told the radio show the Government’s inaction was putting New Zealanders' safety at risk.

“We need to close the borders to countries like Italy and South Korea and China and Iran and that because they can't control what's going on in those countries.”

However, when asked by 1 NEWS about those comments, he once again denied making them.