National MP Maurice Williamson's "big gay rainbow"
reference during the same-sex marriage debate has been chosen
as quote of the year.
The minister beat memorable lines by Man Booker Prize winner
Eleanor Catton and chart-topping teenage singer Ella
Yelich-O'Connor, better known as Lorde.
Mr Williamson's winning quote received 45 per cent of the
vote in a Massey University-run competition.
During the final reading of the same-sex marriage legislation
in April, he said: "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
Mr Williamson said although he usually prepared his speeches,
his contribution to that debate was unrehearsed and pulled
together in the debating chamber. "I'd done no preparation at
all, about four minutes and four bullet points on a scrap of
paper - 'gay onslaught', 'celibacy', 'physics' and 'gay
The response had been overwhelming. "I seriously didn't
expect it would make the Howick & Pakuranga Times. I've
been told that it's played in 59 countries, been translated
into 16 languages. I've got the Dutch, the Spanish, the
German, the Swedish version on my iPad."
Massey University speech-writing specialist Heather Kavan
said the speech was irreverent, visual, disarming and witty,
but it was also emotionally moving for those affected by the
marriage equality bill.
She noted that it had global impact, including 1.5 million
views on YouTube and endorsement from high-profile
individuals such as Stephen Fry and Ellen DeGeneres.
Political quotes took the top three spots in the competition.
In second place was an anonymous quote which was repeated on
social media during reform of the Government spy agency: "The
GCSB, the only government department that will actually
listen to you."
It was the second year in a row a National MP won. Last year,
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett's "Zip it,
sweetie", a retort to Labour MP Jacinda Ardern, got the most
Top 10 quotes of 2013 in order of number of votes:
1: "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." - National MP for
Pakuranga Maurice Williamson in his speech to Parliament
supporting the gay marriage law.
2: "The GCSB, the only government department that will
actually listen to you." - Unknown origin but repeated on
3: "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.
4: "I'm not a spreadsheet with hair." - Auckland
5: "Why are you going red, Prime Minister?" - Kim Dotcom at
the parliamentary inquiry into the GCSB spying on New Zealand
"I'm not, why are you sweating?" - Key's reply to Kim Dotcom.
6: "Male writers tend to get asked what they think and women
what they feel." - Man Booker Prize-winning novelist Eleanor
7: "If there was a dickhead that night, it was me." -
National MP Aaron Gilmore reflecting on how he got
intoxicated and called a waiter a "dickhead" at the Heritage
Hotel in Hanmer Springs.
8: "In New Zealand nobody takes you seriously unless you can
make them yawn." - Author James McNeish at the Auckland
Writers and Readers Festival.
9: "That little ball of fluff you own is a natural born
killer." - Gareth Morgan's Cats to Go campaign website.
10: "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.
- Isaac Davison of the New Zealand Herald