Simon Bridges' 'Paula Benefit' slip of tongue wins Quote of the Year

Simon Bridges made several gaffes about his colleagues this year, and one has just been named New Zealand Quote of the Year.

In July, the National Party leader accidentally referred to his deputy leader Paula Bennett as "Paula Benefit", a name often used as a joke about Ms Bennett's controversial benefit policies, according to competition organiser Heather Kavan.

"Winston Peters spends a huge amount of time on me, on Paula Ben- Benefit- Bennett," Mr Bridges told reporters.

The quote attracted 21 percent of the 3322 votes cast by New Zealanders in the Massey University-run competition.

Dr Kavan said she was surprised by the result.

"I didn't expect voters to experience Simon Bridges' unconscious mind as more entertaining than some of New Zealand's best comedians," she says. "I think the win comes down to the twinge of delight we feel when we see people in power make a mistake."

She said the gaffe was made funnier by the fact Mr Bridges had been trying not to say "benefit", a mistake which is called a 'white bear' slip of the tongue, referring to a psychology experiment where people were told not to think of a white bear but couldn't help mentioning it.

The runner-up with 18 percent of the vote was Taika Waititi's quote that New Zealand was "as racist as f**k", a comment he made when an interviewer said they perceived New Zealand as a less racist Australia.

Only eight votes behind was Sir John key's comments about who the Australian Prime Minister was

"I used to say, 'Mate, I don't really mind who turns up, just wear a name badge so I know who it is,'" he said.

Other contenders included Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern calling it offensive that everyone thinks every Kiwi had starred in either Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and comedian Rhys Darby saying it was possible Aotearoa was left off maps because it looked like a  "half-eaten lamb chop".

The Spinoff published a list of alternative quotes it believed was worthy of recognition. That list included another of Mr Bridges' comments about his colleagues, where he called National MP Maureen Pugh "f**king useless".