The year's top quotes up for voting

Last updated 14:01 14/12/2012
John Banks
JOHN BANKS: Has not come up the river on a cabbage boat.

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From the unintentionally funny to the scripted, a shortlist of the year's most memorable quotes has been compiled by a panel of judges at Massey University.

The list includes Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker's admission that he felt scared in Wellington and Finance Minister Bill English saying: ''I just want to emphasise that it is not our best guess, it's just a guess''.

ACT leader John Banks graces the list twice with both quotes arising from this year's Dotcom saga.

The New Zealand Quote of the Year list is put together by Massey University speech-writing specialist Heather Kavan with help from a judging panel.

Dr Kavan said one of her favourite quotes on the list was Social Development Minister Paula Bennett's recent ''zip it sweetie'' jibe at Labour's Jacinda Ardern. ''There's just something almost primal about two women fighting.''

The list was whittled down from several dozen entries nominated by Massey students and members of the public.

Dr Kavan said the best quotes were short and fun to say in different contexts. ''Several of the quotes that have topped American lists in recent years are terse and punchy, like 'Don't tase me, bro!' and 'I am not a witch'. The quote we debated most was John Banks' 'I don't remember'. It's not as colourful as his cabbage boat remark, but the context makes it memorable.''

She said delivery wasn't critical but it did influence the decision. She said 'Nonu, Nonu, Nonu, boom! wouldn't have been such a hit without actor Byron Coll saying it.

The shortlist will now be put to a public vote to find the most memorable quote from 2012.

People can vote here.

Voting closes at 5pm on December 20.

The shortlist:

  • ''I come to Wellington and I'm scared to be here'' - Bob Parker speaking to an emergency management conference in Wellington about the state of Wellington buildings
  • "I did not come up the river on a cabbage boat'' - John Banks responding to media questions about Dotcom
  • ''I don't remember'' - John Banks' response when asked about his helicopter ride to Dotcom's mansion
  • ''I just want to emphasise that it is not our best guess, it's just a guess'' - Bill English estimating the financial value of selling state assets
  • ''New Zealand's got some great brains out there and most of them are kids'' - Luke Nola accepting the New Zealand Television Award for Best Children's/Youth programme
  • ''Nonu, Nonu, Nonu, boom!'' - Actor Byron Coll as an overly familiar fan greeting Ma'a Nonu in the Mastercard All Blacks advertisement
  • ''Oh f...k! I can't afford that'' -Ewen Gilmour after his doctor told him he was going to live for another 40 years
  • ''Who needs to be able to quote Shakespeare if you can play rugby?'' - 17-year-old Joshua Iosefo on Campbell Live giving his Mt Roskill Grammar School speech
  • ''Your dish was a car crash but all of the occupants survived'' - Josh Emett judging on Masterchef New Zealand
  • ''Zip it, sweetie'' -Paula Bennett to Jacinda Ardern in Parliament

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- The Dominion Post

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