Helen Clark

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Helen Clark, ONZ SSI PC

New Zealand's second female Prime Minister, and the first to have won office at an election, Helen Clark became active in politics while studying at the University of Auckland. 

In this radio interview from election night in 1981, you can hear the newly-elected MP for Mt Albert talking about her hopes for her new life in Parliament.

She would go on to serve as a minister during Labour’s second term from 1987 and then became Deputy Prime Minister two years later. Clark survived attempts to oust her as party leader while in Opposition and in the 1999 election she became New Zealand's first elected female Prime Minister.

After leading Labour through three successful election campaigns, Clark resigned in 2008 and moved to New York to head the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), a role she held until 2017. She was the first woman and the first New Zealander to be the UNDP Administrator.

Find out more about Helen Clark:

Visit Helen Clark's website. 

Read Helen Clark's profile on NZHistory.net.

Find out more about the Helen Clark documentary – My Year with Helen.

Check out the Helen Clark Foundation – a Public Policy Think Tank established in 2019. 

Image: Courtesy of Helen Clark's website.

Catalogue Reference 25670

Year 1981


RNZ National

Excerpt: 00:01:45

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