Nicholas Jones

Nicholas Jones is the New Zealand Herald’s education reporter.

Chance to vote for the year's best comment

They are more well known for their internationally celebrated lyrics and writing - but young artists Lorde and Eleanor Catton are both in the running to win New Zealand's quote of the year.

Man Booker prize-winner Catton and musician Lorde, real name Ella Yelich-O'Connor, join Kim Dotcom and disgraced MP Aaron Gilmore as the voices behind 10 quotes shortlisted for the accolade.

The Massey University competition will be decided by the public, with voting now open. Last year, the favourite quote was Social Development Minister Paula Bennett's "Zip it, sweetie", said to Labour MP Jacinda Ardern.

Lorde's "I'm not a spreadsheet with hair" and Catton's "Male writers tend to get asked what they think and women what they feel" are among this year's finalists.

Dr Heather Kavan, who helped choose the finalists, said Lorde's quote addressed the myth that it was acceptable to judge people by their monetary value.

"I think this is a myth many people would love to see dispelled."

Politicians feature prominently on the shortlist. National MP Maurice Williamson's "big gay rainbow" line, said during his speech to Parliament supporting the gay marriage law, is in the running, as are quotes from New Zealand First leader Winston Peters and a contrite Aaron Gilmore.

Dr Kavan started the competition three years ago after finding her speech-writing students had trouble identifying memorable lines.

"I thought there must be some good contemporary New Zealand quotes, but no one is collecting them."

• To vote for the 2013 Quote of the Year, visit Massey University's Facebook page. Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday December 19, with the winner announced on December 20.


The shortlisted finalists for the 2013 NZ Quote of the Year

If there was a dickhead that night, it was me. - MP Aaron Gilmore reflecting on how he got intoxicated and called a waiter a 'Dickhead' at the Heritage Hotel in Hamner Springs.

Why are you going red, Prime Minister? - Kim Dotcom at the Parliamentary enquiry into the GCSB spying on New Zealand residents.
I'm not, why are you sweating? - Key's reply to Kim Dotcom.

The GCSB, the only government department that will actually listen to you. - Unknown origin but repeated on social media.

Male writers tend to get asked what they think and women what they feel. - Man Booker prize winning novelist, New Zealand's Eleanor Catton.

I'm not a spreadsheet with hair. - Auckland singer/songwriter Lorde.

What didn't he know and when didn't he know it? - Winston Peters querying John Key's knowledge of the Parliamentary Service's actions.

In New Zealand, nobody takes you seriously unless you can make them yawn. - author James McNeish at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival.

That little ball of fluff you own is a natural born killer. - Gareth Morgan's Cats to Go campaign website.

He's an extraordinarily lucky cat. - Massey University veterinary surgeon Dr Jonathan Bray after removing a crossbow bolt from the head of Wainuiomata cat Moomoo.

One of the messages that I had was that this bill was the cause of our drought. Well, in the Pakuranga electorate this morning it was pouring with rain. We had the most enormous big gay rainbow across my electorate. - Cabinet minister Maurice Williamson in his speech to Parliament supporting the gay marriage law.

- NZ Herald

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