Clark’s honour salutes service
Former prime minister Helen Clark has been acknowledged for her years of service to New Zealand and the people of Mt Albert.
Miss Clark was made the newest Member of the Order of New Zealand in the New Year’s honours.
The award sees the 59-yearold join some exclusive company, with just 16 other living New Zealanders, including former prime ministers Jim Bolger and Mike Moore, in the order.
It has a limit of 20 living members at any one time.
Now living in New York where she heads the United Nations Development Programme, Miss Clark said she was thrilled to receive the honour, but wasn’t entirely surprised when she was asked to accept the award.
“I’ve spent a lot of years at the top, maybe sometime an approach would have been made. It’s not unusual, it’s a question of timing.”
Current Labour leader Phil Goff says he’s pleased for Miss Clark.
“It’s very much welcome and expected.
“Both those from other political parties and in the Labour Party recognise the job she did on behalf of New Zealand.”
New Mt Albert MP David Shearer says he wasn’t surprised to find Miss Clark received the honour.
“The people of Mt Albert in particular can be proud that one of their own has been awarded New Zealand’s highest honour.
“She’s always been a very hard act to follow, but I’ll be doing my best to live up to Helen’s high standards.
“She’s an inspiration not only to me, but many New Zealanders.”
After losing the 2008 election Miss Clark resigned from the leadership of the Labour Party and her Mt Albert electorate, which she held for 28 years from 1981 until 2009.