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22 Dec, 2022 13:32

New Zealand PM auctions off transcript of hot mic insult

Jacinda Ardern called a liberal opponent “an arrogant prick” in parliament last week
New Zealand PM auctions off transcript of hot mic insult

A signed and framed copy of the transcript of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern insulting a political opponent on a hot mic was sold at an online auction for NZD$100,100 (US$63,000) on Thursday.

The sale was conducted on the bidding platform Trade Me from an account belonging to David Seymour, the leader of the liberal ACT New Zealand party, whom Ardern called “an arrogant prick” in the country’s parliament last week.

The proceeds from the sale will go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Ardern and Seymour collaborated on the auction, with both having signed the official copy of the transcript.

The initial exchange occurred last Tuesday. During a televised question-and-answer session, Seymour asked the prime minister to provide an example of her “making a mistake, apologizing for it properly, and fixing it.”

A visibly irritated Ardern replied that, although her government did not always have “perfect responses,” she stood by the work of her cabinet. She then moved away from the microphone, but was still heard muttering, “He’s such an arrogant prick.” 

The insult caused a stir in the New Zealand media. According to Seymour, Ardern promptly apologized to him via text message the same day.

She later said in parliament that she would like to formally “withdraw and apologize for those comments, which I won’t repeat.” Seymour accepted the apology.

“Can’t say I expected this… a faux pas with the old mic in parliament has turned into $100,100 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation,” the prime minister wrote on Instagram on Thursday. Seymour and Ardern thanked the bidders and each other for “being a good sport.”