A signed transcript of a parliamentary exchange in which New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called a political rival an “arrogant asshole” raised more than $63,000 for charity when the bid ended in an online auction on Thursday.
“I can’t say I expected it,” Ardern posted on social media after raising the sum for New Zealand’s Prostate Cancer Foundation in what she described as her “faux pas with the old microphone in Parliament.”
A microphone picked up New Zealand’s Prime Minister muttering the insult aimed at political opponent David Seymour after a heated exchange between the two during a parliamentary session last week.
An angry Ardern was heard saying “he’s such an arrogant asshole” as she resumed her seat after answering a barbed question from Seymour, leader of the right-wing Liberal party ACT.
Seymour petitioned the Speaker of the New Zealand Parliament for an apology from Ardern, which meant her comment was included in the official record known as Hansard.
Seymour came up with the idea of teaming up for a good cause and they both signed a copy of the memo, which was framed before the auction.
“The interest has been greater than anyone could have imagined,” Seymour said in a statement after telling AFP he only expected the log to fetch a fraction of the top bid of NZ$100,100 ($63,200). .
Ardern also thanked “everyone who has put in a bid” and commended Seymour for being “a good sport,” a compliment the ACT leader returned.
“When I suggested this to her, she immediately agreed,” Seymour said.
“I was blown away by the kindness of the bidders who are helping tails everywhere with their generosity,” he added.
© 2022 AFP