New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern apologised for calling a political rival an “arrogant prick” in parliament on Tuesday. She made the comment about David Seymour, the leader of the libertarian ACT party, after he asked Ardern if she could “give an example of her making a mistake, apologising for it properly, and fixing it” during question time.

In response, Jacinda Ardern agreed that the people had a difficult time with managed isolation but said that she supported the job the government had accomplished during the previous term.

After ending her reply, Ardern sat down next to her deputy, Grant Robertson, and murmured: “Such an arrogant prick”. Her comment was picked up in the background by her desk microphone as House Speaker Adrian Rurawhe was talking and was broadcast on parliament television.



Speaking to the media after the session had ended, Seymour said that Ardern had texted him to say sorry. “[She] said, ‘I apologise, it’s not something I should have said’ and she said, ‘As my mum would say, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it’,” he added.

Seymour went on to emphasise that the matter was resolved, closing his statement by saying: “At the end of the day, it’s not the end of the world.”

Ardern’s office has also confirmed she had apologised to Seymour.