Have your say on best quote of year
New Zealand looking like ‘‘a halfeaten lamb chop’’ or ‘‘racist as f...’’ and a slip of the tongue about ‘‘Paula Benefit’’ are among the finalists for a national quote-of-theyear competition.
From the author of children’s book The Wonky Donkey, to the prime minister’s appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, 2018 has been another interesting year for Kiwi quotes.
The 10 shortlisted finalists in Massey University’s annual competition have been announced and the public has one week to vote for the best quip. Voting closes at noon on Wednesday and the winner will be announced the next day.
Massey speech writing specialist and competition organiser Dr Heather Kavan said many of 2018’s nominated quotes were preoccupied with identity.
‘‘The number of quotes related to New Zealanders’ identities was notable,’’ she said. ‘‘This included our racial identities, with quotes from Taika Waititi and Rose Matafeo, and how other countries perceive us, with quotes from the prime minister and Rhys Darby.’’
The judging criteria includes attributes such as wit, brevity, and vividness of the language, but, ‘‘essentially we were looking for quotes that people would want to hear again’’, Kavan said.
Kavan, who was one of three judges who chose the shortlist, said the first quote agreed on by the judging panel was Craig Smith’s: ‘‘Wonky Donkey has had a good run for a donkey with three legs.’’
The author’s quote was a response to the sales of his children’s book The Wonky Donkey skyrocketing thanks to a popular online video of a grandmother reading it.
‘‘For me, the quote sounded so innocent and cheerful in a year of brutal political manoeuvres and humiliating communications between MPs,’’ Kavan said. ‘‘It’s hard to feel hostile or anxious while thinking about Wonky Donkey.’’
The other quotes appealed for a variety of reasons.
Taika Waititi’s ‘‘as racist as f...’’ is ‘‘unguarded, heartfelt and controversial’’.
‘‘It’s always hard to pick a winner, but I’m hoping Melanie Bracewell’s quote about Melania Trump will be popular. The line is quick-witted and topical. Whenever Melania is in the news, it’s almost a public sport to look for signs that she secretly wants to escape from her husband.’’
Kavan began the annual quote competition eight years ago as a way of celebrating New Zealanders’ best one-liners.
Public voting is now open at http://bit.ly/QOTY2018.