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Quote of the Year competition open for voting


Jacinda Ardern, Mark Richardson, Anna Lorck and Jemima Gazley are in the running for Quote of the Year 2021.

The ten finalists for the best New Zealand quote of 2021 have been chosen, and the public are invited to vote for their favourite.

Finalists range from Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins’ “spread their legs” gaffe to television presenter Mark Richardson’s comparison of the blood moon eclipse to a “half-sucked oddfellow in the sky.”

The public has until midday on Sunday 19 December to cast their vote. Click here to vote for your favourite quote.

Jibes and human moments

Massey University Speech Writing specialist and competition organiser Dr Heather Kavan says, "This year’s entries were replete with jibes at everything from Judith Collins’ character to the blood moon eclipse, with some very human moments in between.” 

Political commentator Mike Williams’ description of opposition leader Christopher Luxon as “about as exciting as the Taihape public toilets” also made the list.

“It’s the sort of humour New Zealanders seem to like—not too high-brow and not too brutal. The Taihape toilets are on the Automobile Association's (AA) list of best places for travellers who need a toilet stop, so people appreciate them even if they’re not enthralling,” Dr Kavan says. 

Also on the list are several spontaneous utterances including Jacinda Ardern’s “bed-time fail” when daughter Neve interrupted her Facebook livestream, and the toddler mimicking her mum’s reaction when seeing a goat in the garden.

“Spread their legs”

Dr Kavan says the "spread their legs" gaffe uttered by Chris Hipkins was the first quote the judging panel agreed on.

“The line rallied more people than the ‘team of five million’ slogan, inspiring tweets and photos with the #spreadyourlegs hashtag, as well as merchandise. Dr Ashleigh Bloomfield’s unforgettable eyebrow-raise enhanced the effect.”   

The top 10

  1. “It is a challenge in high density areas for people to get outside and spread their legs.” Covid-19 response minister Chris Hipkins’ slip of the tongue.

  2. “He is about as exciting as the Taihape public toilets.” Commentator Mike Williams on Christopher Luxon.

  3. "It was like a half-sucked Oddfellow in the sky." TV presenter Mark Richardson describing the first blood moon lunar eclipse in 40 years.

  4. “If I can't be cured, I'll be the cure.” Jemima Gazley on why she crowd-funded for research on the cancer that later ended her life.

  5. “That was a bed-time fail.” Jacinda Ardern after daughter Neve interrupts her Facebook live.

  6. “We've got an economy that's running on a sugar hit." David Seymour on how borrowed money increases New Zealand's gross domestic product.

  7. "Does anyone know if the tinny house in Aro will be open during level 4?" (Name withheld) post on community Facebook page Vic Deals.

  8. “Who is going to do a Berocca in the morning?”  MP Anna Lorck in Parliament.

  9. "Hey Judith, it's not that bad. Raise an eyebrow, to show you're glad." Jono and Ben’s song to Judith Collins.

  10. "No, it's a f__ing goat." Toddler mimicking her mum's description of a goat in her garden.

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