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upworthy
Democracy

New Zealand prime minister's vulgar insult of political rival has ended in the best way

If only all political disagreements could end like this.

Jacinda Ardern; New Zealand; David Seymour; charity

New Zealand prime minister's hot mic insult helped raise $100,000.

Not every moment is our best and sometimes those not-so-great moments are caught on tape or, in Jacinda Ardern's case, over a hot mic. Ardern is the prime minister of New Zealand and recently, during a parliamentary debate, she was feeling a bit frustrated with a colleague, ACT leader David Seymour. During the exchange, Ardern turned to her deputy and muttered "arrogant prick," referencing Seymour, who was apparently on the prime minister's last nerve.

The problem was, her mic was still on and picked up the hushed insult so others could hear. Probably not her proudest moment but, to be fair, they were discussing really heavy stuff like hate-speech and immigration. She didn't let the comment hang in the air, according to RNZ. Seymour told reporters that the prime minister texted him shortly afterward to apologize.

Later, the two were photographed holding a framed copy of the parliamentary debate where the insult was hurled. Turns out they've used the moment to raise money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation by allowing people to bid on the framed debate via Trade Me.


Surprisingly, the framed photo has been viewed almost a half million times, with more than 280 bids, according to RNZ. Which makes you wonder if people have really strong feelings about Seymour being an "arrogant prick" or if they were just good Samaritans donating money solely based on the charity. I'm going to assume the world will never know, unless the winner of the auction would like to come forward and explain why they spent so much money on a transcript of the exchange.

If you're curious what the highest bid was, it was $62,899 (100,100 New Zealand dollars). Now, there's something to get excited about, and if you ask Seymour, he's happy about the outcome of the disagreement. Seymour told RNZ, "Taking the particular politicians out of it, it makes me so proud to be a kiwi. Political commentators have said to me they couldn't imagine this in any other country, not even Australia, and I think that says something special about New Zealand's culture and politics that we should always seek to hold on to."

Overall, it seems that Seymour was a good sport about the entire situation. He accepted Ardern's apology and said that he's been called much worse. Others in the chambers were also on board with supporting the prime minister's lapse in filter.

It's great to see politicians coming together to not only move beyond an unfortunate moment but to turn it into an opportunity to raise money for a good cause. I'm sure there will be more lively debates that come out of parliament chambers but it seems like they've got a handle on how to make lemonade when needed.

You can watch the entire exchange below to hear the expensive insult:

All images provided by Prudential Emerging Visionaries

Collins after being selected by Prudential Emerging Visionaries

True

A changemaker is anyone who takes creative action to solve an ongoing problem—be it in one’s own community or throughout the world.

And when it comes to creating positive change, enthusiasm and a fresh perspective can hold just as much power as years of experience. That’s why, every year, Prudential Emerging Visionaries celebrates young people for their innovative solutions to financial and societal challenges in their communities.

This national program awards 25 young leaders (ages 14-18) up to $15,000 to devote to their passion projects. Additionally, winners receive a trip to Prudential’s headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, where they receive coaching, skills development, and networking opportunities with mentors to help take their innovative solutions to the next level.

For 18-year-old Sydnie Collins, one of the 2023 winners, this meant being able to take her podcast, “Perfect Timing,” to the next level.

Since 2020, the Maryland-based teen has provided a safe platform that promotes youth positivity by giving young people the space to celebrate their achievements and combat mental health stigmas. The idea came during the height of Covid-19, when Collins recalled social media “becoming a dark space flooded with news,” which greatly affected her own anxiety and depression.

Knowing that she couldn’t be the only one feeling this way, “Perfect Timing” seemed like a valuable way to give back to her community. Over the course of 109 episodes, Collins has interviewed a wide range of guests—from other young influencers to celebrities, from innovators to nonprofit leaders—all to remind Gen Z that “their dreams are tangible.”

That mission statement has since evolved beyond creating inspiring content and has expanded to hosting events and speaking publicly at summits and workshops. One of Collins’ favorite moments so far has been raising $7,000 to take 200 underserved girls to see “The Little Mermaid” on its opening weekend, to “let them know they are enough” and that there’s an “older sister” in their corner.

Of course, as with most new projects, funding for “Perfect Timing” has come entirely out of Collins’ pocket. Thankfully, the funding she earned from being selected as a Prudential Emerging Visionary is going toward upgraded recording equipment, the support of expert producers, and skill-building classes to help her become a better host and public speaker. She’ll even be able to lease an office space that allows for a live audience.

Plus, after meeting with the 24 other Prudential Emerging Visionaries and her Prudential employee coach, who is helping her develop specific action steps to connect with her target audience, Collins has more confidence in a “grander path” for her work.

“I learned that my network could extend to multiple spaces beyond my realm of podcasting and journalism when industry leaders are willing to share their expertise, time, and financial support,” she told Upworthy. “It only takes one person to change, and two people to expand that change.”

Prudential Emerging Visionaries is currently seeking applicants for 2024. Winners may receive up to $15,000 in awards and an all-expenses-paid trip to Prudential’s headquarters with a parent or guardian, as well as ongoing coaching and skills development to grow their projects.

If you or someone you know between the ages of 14 -18 not only displays a bold vision for the future but is taking action to bring that vision to life, click here to learn more. Applications are due by Nov. 2, 2023.
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