Helen Clark

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Helen Clark in 2016

Helen Elizabeth Clark (born 26 February 1950) is a New Zealand politician who served as the 37th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1999 to 2008, and was the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme from 2009 to 2017.


  • If ordinary means I have suddenly got to produce a household of kids and iron Peter's shirts, I'm sorry, I'm not interested.
    • Quoted in David Barber, "PROFILE: Helen Clark, new chief of UN Development Programme," Asia-Pacific News (26 March 2006)
  • People weren’t used to the prospect of a woman becoming prime minister so there were attacks about my appearance, my voice and even my clothing. But I found that there was little point dwelling on such criticism. I just had to look straight ahead and get on with the task at hand and, by and large, that strategy worked for me. I think women politicians today are more confident in being able to call out such behaviour than I was at a time when it was very rare to have many women in parliament.

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