Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has apologised to ACT Leader David Seymour for calling him an “arrogant prick” during question time this afternoon.
Ardern made the comment under her breath after a wide-ranging question from Seymour covering hate speech, inflation, immigration and education.
“Can the prime minister give an example of her making a mistake, apologising for it properly, and fixing it?” he asked in his final supplementary question.
“There’s been a number of occasions where we acknowledge that we will not have perfect responses,” she responded
“We’ve openly said that, for instance, managed isolation and quarantine was something that was very difficult at the time and that there were people affected by it and that we would do things differently if we were ever confronted with that again … but I stand by the work that we’ve done as a government over this last year and over this past term.
“We’ve always made decisions that we believe to be in the best interests of New Zealand at the time.”
As she sat again and the Speaker announced the next question, Ardern could be heard saying “he’s such an arrogant prick”.
She texted him soon after to say sorry.
Seymour told reporters she also said in her text it was not something she should have said and went against her mother’s advice.
“She said ‘as my mum would say, if you dont’ have anything nice to say don’t say it’. I agree with the sentiment and it’s all good as far as I’m concerned,” he said.
He said he thanked her for the apology and wished her a merry Christmas.
“I’ve been called much worse and it’s all good, it’s all water off a duck’s back.”
Several MPs exiting the chamber after question time said they had not heard Ardern’s comment, and most said it would have been unparliamentary language.