Clark's UN speech receives glowing praise from NZ politicians

Clark's UN speech receives glowing praise from NZ politicians

Politicians on both sides of the political divide are praising former Prime Minister and Labour leader Helen Clark's pitch for the UN Secretary-General position.

Ms Clark spoke to delegates this morning, stating she would modernise and unify the organisation if she was elected its new leader -- shortening response times on big decisions and taking a developmental approach with terrorism, instead of reactionary.

Speaking to the Paul Henry programme, Labour's David Shearer spoke highly of his former colleague's performance on the world stage.

"It was a really good performance, sort of classic Helen Clark in a way. She went back to her roots, which I think was a really good idea ... and then the fact that she had been a woman who has run the country, won the election, did that for nine years then came the [seven] years in UNDP -- she knew some of the people out in the General Assembly as well.

"I think she can do the job really, really well, and somebody said the other day for the most of the UN we've had a secretary, and maybe now we need a general. The question is, do the permanent five want somebody that is dominant?"

Mr Shearer's praise was echoed by deputy Labour leader Annette King and National MP Paula Bennett.

Ms Bennett said she was proud of Ms Clark.

"If you'd asked me 10 years ago if I would have felt proud of Helen Clark, I would have said no. And there is just no doubt about it -- I did this morning."

Ms King said Ms Clark gave a "sterling performance".

Ms Clark announced her bid for the UN top job earlier this month. If elected, she'll take over from, Ban Ki-moon who has been in the position for nine years.

Ms Clark would be the first female leader of the international organisation.