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Semafor LogoDiego Mendoza
newsAustralia-NZ

Jacinda Ardern and the politician she called an ‘arrogant prick’ raise $62,000 for prostate cancer research

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It was the hot mic incident heard around the world when New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was caught calling a fellow member of parliament an "arrogant prick" during the leader's question time.

But instead of squabbling over it, Ardern and the "prick" in question — ACT New Zealand party leader David Seymour — decided to frame the official transcript of their exchange and auction it off for more than $62,000 USD to fund prostate cancer research.

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Ardern and "one-time arrogant prick" Seymour, as he was described on the auction site, put aside their political differences "in the spirit of a Kiwi Christmas" to raise money for "pricks everywhere."

Ardern had already personally apologized to Seymour for the comment.

The transcript is signed by both politicians. Bidding began on Dec. 16 with a starting offer of about $32,000 USD. The auction closed on Wednesday at around 9:35 p.m. local time.

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On Facebook, Ardern celebrated the auction's success.

"Can’t say I expected this…..a faux pas with the old mic in parliament has turned into $100,100 [NZD] for the Prostate Cancer Foundation," she wrote. "My thanks to David for being a good sport and to everyone who placed a bid. And to everyone, Merry Christmas!"

Ardern's followers also welcomed the cross-aisle camaraderie.

"Great work, turning a negative reality into a positive outcome," one person commented.

"Love this story. You're both good sports! Have the most well deserved summer break," wrote another.

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On his Facebook page, Seymour wrote : "This auction has been a wild ride, from the words that started it, to the sky-rocketing price it sold for."

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Prostate cancer is the most diagnosed cancer for men in New Zealand, and one in eight men worldwide will suffer from the cancer at some point during their lifetime, according to New Zealand's Prostate Cancer Foundation.

But some physicians are now optimistic after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new radiation drug this year that specifically targets prostate cancer cells.

According to the American Cancer Society, men starting at age 40 should get a prostate cancer exam every two years, though some men should start earlier and more frequently depending on race and bloodwork results.

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