Talk:Helen Clark

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I don't understand why we are using this awful picture in the infobox. It makes perfect sense to me that we should use the official picture to depict the Prime Minister. What is the motive? —Preceding unsigned comment added by MasterRegal (talkcontribs) 00:54, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

See /archive03#Pic and /archive03#Pictures. See also /archive02#Should the main photo be real or photoshopped?. The official portrait has been repeatedly criticised because it doesn't look very much like her. Most editors so far have much preferred the new picture (User:Avala does not). If you have taken better photos yourself, you are welcome to upload them under a suitable licence.-gadfium 02:48, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
That's all very well, but the photo with shrubbery looks like it was deliberately taken to make the subject look silly, but softening the background would help. The subject of an image should illustrate the theme of the article. This article is not about shrubbery growing out of someone's head. (talk) 21:21, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
The photo is in the public domain. Why don't you crop out the background, and upload your improved version as a new photo? (You'll need to register an account to upload an image).-gadfium 05:49, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
I've reverted an edit to change the picture to the "official" airbrushed one as it was done without any discussion at all and in light of the above and archived points doesn't seem appropriate Gacole (talk) 20:12, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Another picture - more feedback wanted[edit]

I'm interested in feedback on the above three (now four) pictures which have recently been in the infobox. I think all three pictures should appear somewhere in the article, but which is most appropriate in the infobox? (There are other free pictures at commons:Helen Clark, but none are portraits of suitable quality.)-gadfium 07:57, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, the 2005 is a bit precious, but the 2008 one is just as bad although it's a nice sharp illustration of shrubbery. If I took a photo of something for wikipedia, I would try to get a decent background. If that wasn't possible, but I got a reasonable representation of the subject, I'd deal to the background (not removing it, just making it less obtrusive). That isn't silk pursing a sow's ear, it's doing a proper job of illustrating an article. I think the 2007 image should be in the infobox. (talk) 02:31, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
I've added User:SueBabySue's improved version of the 2008 photo. Thanks Sue.-gadfium 02:13, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't like the 2005 one. I'm not sure it resembles HC either then or now. Gacole (talk) 05:01, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
There was some controversy in New Zealand over the 2005 photo, because it has been airbrushed. Some newspapers refused to run it, because it is not authentic. I don't really think an encyclopedia should run an airbrushed photo, either, at least not without labelling it as such. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:51, 5 April 2011 (UTC)


I have removed a paragraph from the Controversy section, which includes a bit that says "The police stated they had acted on a threat to the New Zealand public's safety, and on a specific threat to Helen Clark. The police evaluated the threat to Helen Clark's safety as "significant" ".[1] Nowhere does the reference say anything about the police saying they acted on a specific threat to Clark, or that they evaluated such a threat as significant. The whole section I removed seemed totally irrelevant to Clark in the context of controversy. If there was any controversy, it was the way in which the raids were carried out, which she was hardly responsible for. Neither was John Key, and he had been briefed about it. Incidentally Key was specified as an assassination target, according to the affidavit, but Helen Clark was not. Kaiwhakahaere (talk) 22:48, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Controversy #2[edit]

I have removed another paragraph which inferred that Clark/Labour govt was responsible for a controversial clause in the National Statement on Religious Diversity. The statement was prepared by the Victoria University Religious Studies Programme as part of a national process of public consultation coordinated by the Human Rights Commission. It was endorsed by the National Interfaith Forum in Hamilton, and Clark later presented the statement to the third Asia-Pacific Dialogue on Interfaith Cooperation at Waitangi. Tamaki and his followers objected to the statement that "New Zealand has no official or established religion". Clark didn't author that statement, but delivered it. Our article was indicating the controversy was about the messenger, not the message. Have a look here where it is fairly reported. Kaiwhakahaere (talk) 22:37, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

You can find a quote that say's practically anything you like. There are numerous statements made by religious organisations which directly contradict the statement. Although the statement didn't originate with Helen Clark the fact that she says it or quotes it shows that she agrees with it. Her agreeing with this statement reflects an element of her personal views on religion and is relevant to this article.


This article gets vandalised at least more than three times a day, and semi-protection could help.. just a though. Metagraph (talk) 04:19, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

I suspect the vandalism will become more frequent as the election draws closer. A long-term semi-protection (6 months) may be necessary. Any objections?-gadfium 06:25, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
No objection. Kaiwhakahaere (talk) 07:54, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Further reading[edit]

Is this useful? It significantly increases the article size, and the majority of readers aren't going to be interested. I think this may come under the policy of WP:DIRECTORY although it doesn't quite fit the examples given there. Wikipedia is not a repository for lists of everything published about a subject, even though the subject itself is clearly notable. I'd appreciate some feedback on this.-gadfium 06:07, 15 April 2008 (UTC) If the list is available somewhere else online, we should link to it rather than duplicating it (quite apart from any copyright issues).-gadfium 06:13, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I think that a lot of it can be culled things like Helen Clark wrote the Foreword for this title and Helen Clark was Minister of Conservation at this time are not either major works (if at all) by Clark or provide further information about her. - SimonLyall (talk) 10:20, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I think its usefulness lies in the fact that it illustrates the various periods of Clark's political career, and some of her interests within the various portfolioes she has held. For example, the forewords in the books published by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage. It also illustrates what her opponents (e.g. F. E. N. Wright) think of her, and also chronicles her place in popular culture (e.g. Bro'Town, and the poem by Das). Simon Lyall is probably right in saying that some of these are not major works, and he is definitely correct that some of the italicised notes may be superfluous. While I take Gadfium's point that not all readers may be interested, I would contend that a list of works such as this has its uses - e.g. as a list that can be printed off and used as a resource (not that all of these works are widely available). An encyclopaedia, to my mind, has to be encyclopaedic, and I think its contents shouldn't be confined to what could be readily found by Google. People need a reason to use Wikipedia, and I think thoroughness is one reason why it is used. I think the truth is somewhere in a middle ground between the three of us :) Boethius65 (talk) 10:55, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I take your point, and perhaps all of this could find a home in a List of works by or about Helen Clark, which we could list in a "See also" section here. But I think most of this list isn't appropriate for a "Further reading" section in this article. That should be for items that go into more detail about Helen Clark than we care to, not for everything she has written a polite foreword in. -- Avenue (talk) 12:12, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Further on Further reading[edit]

Avenue - I think that a separate section such as you suggest (with a See also link) is the way forward. I don't have the expertise yet to build such a thing from the ground up - but I'd be happy if you or one of the other folks who've posted in this thread (or anyone else) could set me up with a stub, and I'd then be happy to organise and properly annotate the content within it. Anyone else got any comments? Boethius65 (talk) 14:33, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

On reflection, I think that Gadfium is probably right when he says this material could violate the policy that Wikipedia is not a directory. This means that the list I suggested creating might well be deleted. So if you do try it (which is easy - just click on the red link above, and paste it in), I'd suggest keeping a backup copy on your computer. It might be better to find another home for the material instead - maybe Archiveopedia? -- Avenue (talk) 04:14, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Boethius, did you create this list yourself from multiple sources, or did you copy it from somewhere else (which may not be online)? If you created it, then finding another place on the web such as archivopedia would be great and we can include a link from this article. If you copied it, we can link to the place you took the copy from.-gadfium 04:27, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

The list was created from an amalgam of authoritative sources - both print and online. However, it has now been removed by me. A more appropriate and focused bibliography may be constructed by someone else, in a format which may be deemed more acceptable by the editors. Am I angry? No. I simply think that putting the bibliography on another site and linking to it from here defeats the whole Wikipedia purpose. Why would anyone bother clicking on yet another link when the information could be right there in front of them? I think, though, that in this case there has been a fundamental confusion between what constitutes a directory, and what is meant by being encyclopaedic. An encyclopaedia article should be able to note the resources used in its construction, and to point beyond itself to authoritative works by others in the field (to extend subject coverage). A directory is just a list of resources with no necessarily intrinsic relation to content. I would contend that what I contributed was an example of the former, and what Gadfium and others are arguing I have done is actually the latter. By all means revert the bibliography back if you want to - but I think there's a philosophical issue at stake here :) Boethius65 (talk) 12:43, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Sources actually used to write the article are cited in the references section. While you did some formatting of the article in Feb, I am not aware that you have added content to it apart from this list of sources, so these are not sources that you have used to write the article and the references section is not appropriate.
Many articles also have an external links or similar section containing a small number of links to either readily accessible (online) or detailed material about the subject. In this case, we have a link to the Prime Minister's and Labour Party websites, both of which contain biographies and can be used to check some of the basic facts of the article. This is a poor substitute for inline references but clearly useful. We also have a link to the only published biography of her, which is useful for more detailed fact checking, although it is not online. Should we add more links? Sure, but a small number, and highly focussed. They should be, in your own words, "authoritative works by others in the field". Few if any of the resources you listed can reasonably be described this way.-gadfium 19:41, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

First, I think my response looked and sounded angrier than I intended it to. You have an apology for that. Second, I will revert the bibliography - but it will be probably be chopped by more than 75%. In lieu of the Parliamentary material, the reader will simply be referred to the website(s) where this kind of material can be accessed (e.g. Ministerial websites, etc.). I will make mention of the "Ministry war books" in a note, but will refer to the MCH website for folks who may be interested in following them up. In short, that should then leave little (if any) more than the Wright pamphlets, the book on the fourth Labour Government, and essays contributed by her to academic (as opposed to popular) books, or articles in that kind of book about her. I think I'll leave the childrens' book in too. That will cut out the clutter - and still leave something for folk to chew on :) Boethius65 (talk) 21:03, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

I have no problem with content of the trimmed down list. I've changed the indentation style to something that makes more sense to me, but revert if you hate it.-gadfium 21:42, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

I like the new formatting... Any hatchets well and truly buried :) Boethius65 (talk) 22:55, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

In Biography, time to add 'Absolute Power: The Helen Clark Years' Ian Wishart (Howling At The Moon Publishing - ISBN 978-0-9582401-3-0) Cyrano68 (talk) 07:18, 8 May 2008 (UTC)


Is anyone planning on merging the controversies section in with the rest of the article? Definitely drags the article into bias territory. Bactoid (talk) 10:59, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Correct honorific[edit]

PM Helen Clark is the only world leader that is sometimes a Miss and other times a MRS. At Sir Edmund Hilary's memorial service in UK she was referred to as Mrs Helen Clark and her husband accompanied her. In other stories such as news about USA passport controls she is referred to as Miss Clark. Why is this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Thegleaner (talkcontribs) 09:40, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

The correct title is probably Ms. Miss is certainly wrong, as she is married. Mrs is probably not correct either, as she has kept her own name. The article does not use any of these, so if you wish to pursue the matter further, please ask at the Reference Desk.-gadfium 09:49, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

The 'NZ Herald' seems to always refer to her as 'Miss Clark', which, as others have posted, is technically incorrect. However, being NZ's largest and most widely read paper, there must be a reason they do so. Is that how she prefers to be addressed? I agree that 'Ms' is probably the most appropriate title. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:22, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

She is called Miss Clark because Clark is her birth name. She is called Mrs Clark because she is married. What is the authority for saying that Miss Clark is wrong? Surely it is a matter of style. Miss Clark, Mrs Clark, Ms Clark and Helen Clark (no honorific) are just different styles. Of course, Helen may have her preference and it would be courteous to follow it, whatever it is. Nurg (talk) 04:02, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

The most common reference to Clark in New Zealand is "Miss Clark". She appears to prefer to be referred to as "Miss Clark". (Randomkiwi (talk) 13:50, 24 October 2008 (UTC))

The courtesy titles aren't just some irrelevant name a person gives themselves; they have a meaning. Helen Clark shouldn't call herself a miss anymore than a guy should. Mrs = married, miss = not married; these are the historic rules and are still accepted in today's society. Although some resent the fact that female honorifics show marital status while their male counterpart don't the meanings are still there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:41, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

I used to be a news reporter at the New Zealand Herald. The reason the newspaper refers to her as "Miss" is somewhat complicated. Like many New Zealanders, including myself, Clark doesn't like honorifics at all (she prefers to be called "Helen Clark"). However conservative newspapers often require honorifics to be used in stories. Consequently, most conservative newspapers refer to her as "Mrs.", because she is married. However, when an NZ Herald news reporter asked her in person what honorific she prefered if one was absolutely necessary, she gave the answer "Miss". I can't remember her rationale for this, but I believe that she objects to her honorific being determined by her marital status, as the same does not apply to a man, and also that she strongly objects to being called "Ms". All press releases coming from her office refered to her as "Helen Clark" throughout, both at first mention and subsequent mentions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:17, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification.-gadfium 05:51, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes, it's confirmed by her official NZ Government webpage ("Helen Clark" throughout): —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:36, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

If we're going to get technical then the honorifics of Miss, Ms or Mrs are all wrong. Her honorific should be Rt.Hon. (talk) 08:51, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

No, that is no longer the case as she is not involved in NZ politics.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:32, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Doesn't the Rt Hon title, once awarded, stay for life? Mattlore (talk) 19:30, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
That is my understanding, too. Also, see her parliamentary bio. Schwede66 20:29, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, in August 2010 the Queen announced that all current and former prime ministers of New Zealand would hold the honorific Right Honorable for life. There is some information on this on the wikipedia page ("right honorable"), I believe. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:39, 29 May 2011 (UTC)


Under the pretense of see talk the 2005 picture of Clark was replaced with the terrible 2008 picture. There was, in reality absolutely no consensus so I'd like to know why the picture is being used, beyond the age argument. She hasn't changed that much in three years but the pictures sure make a difference. Therequiembellishere (talk) 01:39, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm not the one who changed it, but I like the 2008 version better. I'm not sure why you say it is horrible, I think it is a good picture of her. The 2005 picture looks quite different from what Helen appears like in normal day to day life. Also the 2005 pic is from an election advertisement with a red background to promote Labour, in my view using election adverts as main photos in biographical articles is pushing neutrality.--Anon 01:49, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

The most important issue here is that of image manipulation. Most official photographs of Helen Clark have been significantly altered by airbrushing. That is the main reason why many newspapers in New Zealand refuse to use her "offical" portrait. I tend to agree with the newspapers - wikipedia should be using real images as much as possible, rather than altered ones. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:15, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

The article omits Clark's membership in the Privy Council of the United Kingdom. By convention, the post-nominal PC should be appended to her name at the beginning of the article, as well as in the sidebar box. This is in addition to "the Right Honourable" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:22, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Labour Party Leadership[edit]

There is some dispute as to when Harry Holland assumed leadership of the Labour Party and this, in turn caused confusion as to when Helen Clark passed his record of longest serving Labour leader. The figures below show that Clark passed Holland's maximum possible term on 26 October 2008, and had passed his minimum term on 8 Feb. 2008.

The beginning of Holland's leadership is given variously as from the death of Alfred Hindmarsh (13 Nov. 1918) or upon his election as "chairman" of the party in August 1919.[2].

Harry Holland's 14 years, 68 days minimum term, 1 Aug. 1919 - 8 Oct. 1933
Harry Holland's 14 years, 329 days maximum term, 13 Nov. 1918 - 8 Oct. 1933
Helen Clark's 14 years, 346 days term, 1 Dec. 1993 - 11 Nov. 2008

Fanx (talk) 20:54, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Threat on PM's safety linked to raids". TVNZ. 15 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 
  2. ^ Audrey Young (12 February 2008). "Clark beats record of longest-serving Labour leader - probably". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 


Unless it is planned to mention every year I dont see why the 2006 "ranking" keeps getting put back in. Gacole (talk) 17:59, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Because it was the peak figure. If she rises to a higher position in a new job in the next few years, then that will replace the 2006 ranking.-gadfium 19:16, 18 November 2008 (UTC)


Rather than just revert the change made by Avala I will open a discussio here.

I think the point made by the anon poster is absolutely correct - there is no "election" for prime minister. New Zealand elects parties (de facto) and while it is probable that the leader of the party with the most seats in the house will be PM there is no constitutional requirement (any more than we "elect" cabinet ministers, which is where the "prime" part of "prime minister" comes from). Frankly I think the particular insistance that Clark was the first "elected" PM is symptiomatic of a broader lack of neutrality in this article. Gacole (talk) 01:19, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

True. Also, her notability now is for having been PM, not because she is a politician, and that's what the intro should say first. Kaiwhakahaere (talk) 02:53, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Voters in New Zealand vote for their electorate MP, and for a party. No one votes for the Prime Minister directly, although a shaky argument might be made that voters in Mount Albert/Helensville electorates do so. A more sensible argument is that the party caucus elects the party leader and therefore the PM. The difference between Clark and Shipley becoming PM is explained in the appropriate section of this article. There is no need to explain it in the lead section as well.- (talk) 05:15, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Actually on a re-read the first paragraph of the "Prime Minister" section perpetuates the "elected Primie Minister" mythology and needds to be tided to reflect the above discussion. Gacole (talk) 17:17, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I am not sure if I can agree with you guys. There is a real distinction between someone whose leadership of the government (and thus the nation) has been mandated by the people (via an election), and someone whose leadership of the government has been mandated only by the caucus of their party. Whether the people choose to elect a party to government DOES depend on whom the leader is. There is a non-negligible difference between Clark's role as a the first woman mandated by a general election to be the leader of New Zealand, and Shipley's role as the first woman to be mandated by her caucus to be the leader of New Zealand. Boxter1977 (talk) 06:01, 26 March 2009 (UTC)


I was nearly going to revert the "see also" addition of communism by an anon poster as vandalism but I guess I'm not entirely sure it isnt at least debateble. Gacole (talk) 22:43, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

No: WP:BLP. Need a source to show any connection with Communism, Lenin and Stalin. XLerate (talk) 23:06, 27 November 2008 (UTC)


The section which discusses her term as prime minister I think is too much in bias of Helen Clark. Most of the information is uncited. Do not remove the neutrality banner, discuss your thoughts here instead. Wipkipkedia (talk) 11:14, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

I think the overall article is more hagiographic than biographic. Recent edits (e.g. "greatest living New Zealander") are part of that trend. Adding references to unfavourable sources (like Wishart's book) are pretty much immediately deleted. THe whole pice on the last Labour government, even if accurate, doesn't really beling in her biography - it should be cross referenced to the erelevant article. Gacole (talk) 20:04, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
I would refer people to WP:UNDUE if they want to source Wishart. Bactoid (talk) 10:05, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
Given I have yet to see any material assertions he has made disproved, I dont think that is the same as claiming the earth is flat. Gacole (talk) 18:44, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
I think you would have a hard time quoting Wishart on this page, it would be like rewriting the John Key article with citations from Mike Williams. Basically you're not going to get a fair and unbiased view from either source on each subject respectively. If you're disputing the neutrality of this article because Wishart is not included in it I will be removing the neutrality flag altogether. Bactoid (talk) 19:47, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

If there is no further comment I will be removing the NPOV in 24 hours. Bactoid (talk) 09:05, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

There is still considerable questions as to whether the section on her role as prime minister is slanted. To me, it looks more liks a Labour Party advertisement than a Wikipedia article. For example, there is no rebuttal to any of the "good things" that happened and even if there is (such as in the economic section) there is a counter-argument (beneficiaries) which provides a "final-say". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:57, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

The latest post above was made two minutes before an NPOV tag was added to that section. I'm not sure if I agree with the points made in this post or not, but I don't think it's good to summarily remove the tag without at least trying to address these concerns, so I've put it back. -- Avenue (talk) 01:25, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Aaaaaarrrghhh. I noted the tag placed by User:Wipkipkedia, without explanatory edit summary. So I went to the talk page, and there was no post from Wipkipkedia there, so I removed it. It never occurred to me that a previous anon poster might be Wipkipkedi. Anyway, I checked his contributions and saw he added a POV tag back in November which was removed by User:Gadfium with the edit summary "(rv, no explanation provided on talk page.)". On January 19 Wipkipkedia placed a POV tag on the article. On January 28, User:Bactoid moved it to the Prime Minister section, with the edit summary "Shifted box to Prime Minister section which was mentioned as the piece being biased. I'm of the opinion that this article has no striking bias and was flagged by someone with their own "vendetta".)", and he removed the tag two days later. Back comes Wipkipkedia yesterday to replace the tag without stating a reason either in edit summary or on the talk page, so I removed it. Wipkipkedia has made only four edits to Wikipedia in the past four and a bit months, two to Helen Clark and one to her talk. I agree with Bactoid regarding vendetta. So here we go again. Wikipedia looks stupid because a hit and run editor puts up a tag, doesn't say what the problem is, and doesn't try to rectify it. And when his bullshit is removed by another editor, it is replaced. WTF. Kaiwhakahaere (talk) 02:37, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
: The userless post was by me, sorry for the confusion. Please don't write huge paragraphs of user complaints as it doesn't actually help solve the problems in the article.

I think the "Prime Minister" section does lack criticism, but that's because any negative statements are in the section on Controversies. I'd like to see a rewrite which combines the two sections into a more balanced account of her term as PM. Some of the existing material in both sections is more relevant to Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand than to this article, as it deals with the achievements/criticisms of the Government, rather than of Clark.-gadfium 06:15, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Agreed, I think a rewrite is necessary focussing on the Prime Minister herself rather than her government's policies.


In some sections (at least in the Stable government section), present tense is used (e.g. the current government). This is not true as (unfortunately) Clark is no longer in power. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Adabow (talkcontribs)

...and people wonder why this article is repeatedly tagged NPOV Gacole (talk) 20:28, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
No. They will all migrate to the John Key article as start rubbishing that. Pathetic init. Wallie (talk) 20:11, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

"Controversies" Section (neutrality banner)[edit]

Can someone please explain to me what relevance this has for an encyclopedia. Could we not shorten it a little?... or a lot?

The article should concentrate on what she did that was relevent to her job as Prime Minister, not on "how Ms. Clark's mother in law was suspected of parking illegally in Ekatahuna by a Mrs. McCrindle..." or some other total irrelevance.

Kindly add comments...

Wallie (talk) 20:09, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

If there are no comments, I will remove the entire section, as it is just gossip and detracts from the article. Wallie (talk) 19:18, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

The section is referenced (with one exception), and much of the material is about valid and widely publicised controversies in which Clark was the central figure. The paragraphs on the election funding, and Electoral Finance Act, appear less relevant to Clark and have their own articles, so I think they could be removed. The remainder, as I have suggested before, can eventually be merged into the "Prime Minister" section, which currently contains much material which is not directly relevant to Clark and needs a substantial rewrite.-gadfium 20:47, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry that you fell that way. Gadfium. I'll be blunt. This is a totally POV attack on Helen Clark. No other world leader attracts such a blatant travesty. Have a look at John Howard or George W Bush as an example. Neither of these men men have a "Controversies" section. Even Robert Muldoon escapes this fate. This section should be removed, as it is has been added to somehow smear her as a person. Wallie (talk) 17:04, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
You have failed to gain any consensus for the removal of this section. I will restore it later today unless I see some evidence that others support your views. However, I will begin the process of integrating it with the "Prime Minister" section, so it will no longer appear as a stand-alone section.-gadfium 20:22, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
OK. That is preferable to having a stand-alone "Controversies" section. Still, if you look at the articles on most other world leaders, there is a certain reverence about them. The article on Helen looks as if it has been assembled by a tabloid newspaper or from some gossip blog. Wallie (talk) 09:21, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

New "Prime Minister" section[edit]

I have made an initial attempt to merge the controversy and Prime Minister sections, as I have explained above. In doing so, I removed material which appeared to be about the achievements or controversies of the government as a whole, rather than specific to Clark and her leadership. Some of that material may be useful in Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand.

The result of my edit is somewhat awkward, but perhaps it can be improved over time.

The sentence

Even though some commentators[citation needed] saw stable government within the relatively new MMP electoral system as unlikely, Clark's supporters[citation needed] credit her with maintaining three terms of stable MMP government.

needs to be rewritten and sources found. I think there is truth in the sentence and it is worth saying, but at present it is one of the poorest quality parts of the section.

I've left the paragraph on Jiang Zemin in, but it doesn't add much to the section. However, it does show, along with the photo of Clark at the Pentagon, some of the role she played internationally. It might be worth adding more material about her personal role in international relations and meetings with foreign leaders.

The paragraph beginning

Clark's term in office saw a number of alleged moves towards a republic...

is not about Clark but about her government. I left it as an anchor point for the quote "I think it's inevitable...". It should be rewritten to deal more with Clark's views and actions.

Since there is now both positive and negative material in the "Prime Minister" section, I have removed the two POV tags as having cancelled out. There needs to be a debate here on the talk page about whether the result is balanced, and what needs to be done to address remaining issues of balance. Removing all criticism, as Wallie did early, is not helpful.

Would it be helpful to remove the semi-protection on a trial basis so that anons can assist with the article directly?-gadfium 01:58, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Good work, I support the restoration of the content as above. I think protection can come off. XLerate (talk) 02:08, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Ok, I've removed the semi-protection.-gadfium 03:20, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
OK. Well done. I just didn't like that controversies section. You have now merged it into the main article, which is better. Wallie (talk) 09:29, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

So much better[edit]

This article has certainly improved a lot. Well done everyone. Wallie (talk) 07:40, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Actions as UNDP Administrator[edit]

That section on her as UNDP Administrator should be expanded. It only states how she was voted in.Other dictionaries are better (talk) 15:22, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Proposed merge[edit]

Hello. I've proposed merging and redirecting the tiny stub on Paintergate into the first term section. If there any objections to this, please voice your concerns. Thanks. Viriditas (talk) 23:02, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

Seems reasonable, I'll go ahead and do it. aprock (talk) 17:43, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

Is the former instead of was.[edit]

In the first sentence, the word "was" should be replaced with the phrase "is the former", as Clark is still alive. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:04, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 18 December 2012[edit]

First paragraph is misleading: "She was the first woman elected to that post in her own right..." - amend to "She was the 2nd female Prime Minister of New Zealand, (Jenny Shipley Jenny Shipley was the first female Prime Minister)" BoyFromAuckland (talk) 09:03, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Partly done: I agree that it is a little misleading and I'll make a change to fix that. Helen Clark was the first female elected as the Prime Minister. The National Party was already in government when Jenny Shipley was selected at Prime Minister. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 12:19, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
The facts here are not in dispute, but we've struggled to get the wording right. See also the earlier discussions:
-gadfium 19:48, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
How about something like this: "She was the country's first woman to lead her party to victory in a general election, and the second female Prime Minister (after Jenny Shipley)." --Avenue (talk) 12:34, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
That looks good.-gadfium 19:30, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

False statement[edit]

"Clark's government presided over nearly a decade of economic growth, while still maintaining a large internal government deficit."

The Clark government ran budget surpluses for 9 years, this is totally false and contains no citation. Should be removed or at least changed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:41, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

I think the sentence may have confused the current account deficit (which did progressively worsen from 2002 - 2009) with the government running fiscal surpluses. I've removed the word "internal" as it doesn't make any sense referring to the government's budget. --LJ Holden 21:42, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Request for Comments[edit]

There is an RfC on the question of using "Religion: None" vs. "Religion: None (atheist)" in the infobox on this and other similar pages.

The RfC is at Template talk:Infobox person#RfC: Religion infobox entries for individuals that have no religion.

Please help us determine consensus on this issue. --Guy Macon (talk) 05:39, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Helen Clark. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

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The existing link to worked, and the bot mangled it without adding the archive it says it did above. I've repaired the damage. The bot also correctly identified a couple of dead links but didn't attempt to fix them.-gadfium 23:55, 9 March 2016 (UTC)

Clark was replaced by Phil Goff not David Shearer[edit]

When Helen Clark stood down as the leader of Labour after their election defeat in 2008, she was replaced by Phil Goff (now Mayor of Auckland), who went on to lead Labour to another defeat in the next election in 2011. Goff was then replaced by David Shearer. In the last paragraph of the intro to this article, and in the sidebar, it says that Clark was replaced by Shearer. This needs to be corrected. As it says in the sidebar of Shearer's own page it says "Preceded by Phil Goff" (, see also the sidebar of Goff's page ( Danylstrype (talk) 10:20, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

I think the intent was to say the Shearer won the byelection in her seat after she resigned, but this isn't important in the lead so I've removed it to avoid confusion.-gadfium 22:04, 17 June 2017 (UTC)