Jacinda Ardern’s ‘arrogant prick’ comment nets more than $100,000 at auction

A signed copy of the transcript of the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, calling a minor opposition party leader an “arrogant prick” has been sold for more than $100,000 at an auction to raise money for prostate cancer.

The prime minister’s muttered jibe was caught on a hot mic during parliamentary debate last week, after a series of questions from David Seymour, leader of New Zealand’s libertarian right Act party.

“He’s such an arrogant prick,” the prime minister said as she returned to her seat next to deputy prime minister and close political ally Grant Robertson. The remark was picked up by her microphone and preserved in the official parliamentary record, Hansard, after Seymour demanded an apology.

After the acrimonious exchange went viral, the pair – normally at odds politically – joined forces in a show of Christmas goodwill to sign and auction off a copy of the parliamentary record for charity. All funds would go to prostate cancer research “for pricks everywhere”, the auction said.

Bidding ended on Thursday at NZ$100,100. Responding to news of the sum, Ardern said in a Facebook post: “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.

“My thanks to David for being a good sport,” she continued, “And to everyone, Merry Christmas!”

The auction winner “will receive a framed printout of the parliamentary Hansard co-signed by the Rt Hon prime minister, Jacinda Ardern and one-time arrogant prick, Act party Leader David Seymour”, the description reads.

Ardern’s candid comment came after a series of questions about whether the prime minister stood by all of her statements and policies, and ended with a request that she “give an example of her making a mistake, apologising for it properly, and fixing it”.

By the time Seymour asked for a formal apology for the remark, Ardern had left the chamber – but she did text him to apologise. She later joked in parliament that she stood by all statements – including “insults and apologies”.

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