Votes to decide top quote

What will be this year's answer to ghost chips?

Massey University has released a list of 10 finalists in its annual quote of the year competition and is asking the public to pick their favourites.

The top 10 cover politics, advertising, comedy and even a high school speech competition entry. Last year's winner was from the popular "ghost chips" anti-drink driving advert.

Politicians dominated the entries again this year - there were two relating to the John Banks-Dotcom saga, and Cabinet minister Paula Bennett snuck in late after she told Labour MP Jacinda Ardern to "zip it, sweetie" in Parliament.

But comedians, broadcasters and a Mt Roskill Grammar pupil were also in the mix. On Campbell Live 17- year-old Joshua Iosefo gave an inspiring speech that asked Pasifika youth to move beyond such attitudes as: "Who needs to be able to quote Shakespeare if you can play rugby?"

The New Zealand Quote of the Year is run by Dr Heather Kavan, a speech-writing specialist at Massey University's School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing.

She said the best quotes are often 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'," she said.

Dr Kavan and her judging panel narrowed down several dozen entries nominated by Massey students and the general public to a top 10.

"While delivery wasn't critical, it inevitably influenced our decision," Dr Kavan said.

" ‘Nonu, Nonu, Nonu, boom!' wouldn't be such a hit without actor Byron Coll saying it.

"The quote we debated most was John Banks' ‘I don't remember'," she said.

"It's not as colourful as his cabbage boat remark, but the context makes it memorable."

Votes can be cast until December 20 at


"I come to Wellington and I'm scared to be here." (Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker at a conference in Wellington about the capital's buildings.)

"I did not come up the river on a cabbage boat." (MP John Banks responding to media questions about Dotcom.)

"I don't remember."(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."(Finance Minister Bill English on the value of selling state assets.)

"New Zealand's got some great brains out there and most of them are kids." (Luke Nola accepting the NZ Television Award for Best Children's/Youth programme.)

"Nonu, Nonu, Nonu, boom!" (Actor Byron Coll in an advertisement.)

"Oh f...! 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?" (Joshua Iosefo, 17, 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 a Masterchef New Zealand dish.)

"Zip it, sweetie." (National's Paula Bennett to Labour Jacinda Ardern in Parliament.)

Manawatu Standard