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Moving words from Christchurch terrorist attack dominate Quote of the Year nominations

From the heart-wrenching words surrounding Christchurch's terrorist attack, to politicians outlandish statements - Kiwis will get to vote on this year's Quote of the Year.

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Massey University senior lecturer Dr Cathy Strong talked about this years entries on TVNZ 1’s Breakfast. Source: Breakfast

Last year the annual Massey University award was taken out by National Party leader Simon Bridges' slip of the tongue when referring to his deputy Paula Bennett as "Paula Benefit".

This year's short list has just been released.

Massey University senior lecturer Dr Cathy Strong said three quotes up for vote are from or related to the March 15 Christchurch terrorist attack.

On the list: "Hello brother", the words spoken by Haji-Daoud Nabi to the alleged gunman as he entered the Al Noor Mosque and began shooting. The 71-year-old was the first to be killed in the terrorist attack.

Haji-Daoud Nabi, 71, was shot dead while worshiping at Riccarton's Al-Noor Mosque. Source: Supplied

Ms Strong described the words as "heart-wrenching".

Also related to the terrorist attack was Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's message "they are us" in the days that followed, and a heartfelt speech from Imam Gamal Fouda who said "we are heartbroken, but we are not broken".

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Reporter Arrun Soma went to ask the people it was designed to comfort. Source: Seven Sharp

Ms Strong said Mr Fouda "had so many quotes through that commemoration event. It was just stunning but that one stood out ... it really encapsulated the feeling and the moving on."

But there were also some funny, outrageous or absurd quotes submitted for the award.

Topping the list with the most squeamish - Greenpeace’s Russell Norman told pro-coal Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who was attending the forum on climate change at Tuvalu, he was "about as welcome as diarrhoea in a wetsuit".

"Academically you think you can laugh at it, so that's one emotion, but really you feel really uncomfortable too, that's another emotion that goes with it," Ms Strong added.

Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick's quote dismissing 51-year-old National MP Todd Muller with her line "OK Boomer" also made the list. The line had been around for a while but it's believed to be a first for a politician.

Ms Smart said what makes a good quote was for it to be short and snappy, but also reflect the occasion.

Full list of quotes:

  • "Hello Brother." – Shooting victim Haji-Daoud Nabi’s last words to the alleged gunman at the Al Noor mosque entrance.
  •  “We are broken hearted, but we are not broken.” – Imam Gamal Fouda of Al Noor mosque after the Christchurch terrorist attack. 
  •  “They are us.” – Jacinda Ardern speaking about Muslim victims of the Christchurch terrorist attack, in the aftermath of the killings.
  •  “I think the doves are rising up.” – Actor Lucy Lawless on the School Fight for Climate.
  • "He's about as welcome as diarrhoea in a wetsuit in that place.” – Greenpeace’s Russell Norman on pro-coal Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison attending the forum on climate change at Tuvalu.
  •  “There is scientific evidence that shows it makes me faster. It was done at Harvard, I think.'' – All Black Jack Goodhue on why he is keeping his mullet haircut. 
  • "We're going to a super over! You are kidding me! You are kidding me!" – Ian Smith’s exuberant commentary at the Cricket World Cup final. 
  •  “Just imagine if Colonel Sanders gave up the first time he wanted funding for his recipe. We would not have had that succulent chicken.” – Destiny Church’s Hannah Tamaki when asked how her new political party would raise funds.
  •  “You can’t consent to murder.” – Crown Solicitor Brian Dickey summing up the Grace Millane murder case.
  •  “Okay, boomer.” – Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick dismissing 51-year-old National MP Todd Muller’s interruption during her climate change speech in Parliament. 

Vote for Quote of the Year here. Voting is only open for one week.