John Key rallies support for Helen Clark's UN bid

John Key rallies support for Helen Clark's UN bid

Prime Minister John Key has used the French Prime Minister's short stop in New Zealand to rally support for Helen Clark's bid for Secretary-General.

Meanwhile, Ms Clark is in Paris, talking about her candidacy for Secretary-General.

French Prime Minister Manueal Valls was greeted with a hongi today in Auckland, describing his relationship with New Zealand as "brotherly". The relationship, however, hasn't always been so cordial.

Mr Valls said the 1985 Rainbow Warrior bombing was "a huge mistake", but that France has "turned over a new leaf".

That's a sentiment echoed by Mr Key, who says while there is "real regret" on the French side, "time has moved on".

Mr Key used the visit to campaign for Ms Clark's bid for the role of Secretary-General at the UN.

"I think it's fair to say there's absolutely zero chance of the French vetoing Helen Clark, and a pretty good chance under the right circumstances they would support her."

Mr Valls acknowledged the work of Ms Clark.

"She is very talented. She obviously has great experience, and she's a very good candidate."

However, it's not just France Ms Clark needs to win over. Candidates campaign in front of 171 member states, but the decision is made by the UN's five permanent members, who have veto power.

New Zealand's allies the United Kingdom and the United States are unlikely to use their veto power against Ms Clark, and Mr Key has indicated there's little chance of China or France doing the same.

None of that matters if Ms Clark can't get Russia on-side. As the fifth permanent member of the UN, they have the power to stymie Ms Clark's attempt.

Mr Key also lobbied the Indian President for his support when he was here this weekend.

It's unlikely we'll know whether Ms Clark has the support of the UN's five permanent members until late this year.

Ban Ki-moon steps down on December 31 of this year.