New Zealand PM auctions off transcript of hot mic slur – Reuters


Jacinda Ardern called a Liberal opponent an ‘arrogant asshole’ in Parliament last week

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

The sale was made on the Trade Me auction platform from an account belonging to David Seymour, the leader of the liberal ACT New Zealand party, whom Ardern called « an arrogant asshole » in the country’s parliament last week.

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

The initial exchange took place last Tuesday. During a televised question and answer session, Seymour asked the Prime Minister to give an example of his « make a mistake, properly apologize for it, and fix it. »

A visibly irritated Ardern replied that, although her government has not always « perfect answers », she supported the work of his cabinet. She then walked away from the microphone, but was still heard mumbling, « He’s such an arrogant asshole. »

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

She later told parliament that she would officially like « Step down and apologize for those comments, which I will not repeat. » Seymour accepted the apology.

« Can’t say I expected it…a misstep with the old parliament mic turned into $100,100 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, » wrote the Prime Minister on Instagram on Thursday. Seymour and Ardern thanked the bidders and each other for « to be a good sportsman. »

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