Key: Clark shouldn't give up on UN Secretary-General bid

Key: Clark shouldn't give up on UN Secretary-General bid

The Prime Minister believes Helen Clark should continue in her bid for the top job at the UN despite her drop in recent straw polls. 

John Key has been in contact with Ms Clark via text message and says she's still considering her options.

"Things can change quite quickly. Straw polls are one form of indication of who might come through but they're not completely definitive," he said.  

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully will also be pushing for Helen Clark when he travels to Moscow and London this week. He'll meet with leaders of the P5 – the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

Mr Key says while he is still dubious about the election process, he says what Ms Clark needs is one champion in the P5. 

"It's one thing to have people that vote 'encourage', but it's another issue to have somebody that says she's the right person for the job. We've been making those phone calls and encouraging P5 leaders to do that."

The Government has backed Ms Clark's bid with a budget said to be in the "hundreds of thousands" of dollars. It includes staff deployed to work on her campaign in New York, and travel support for Ms Clark around the world.

"For New Zealand to have a Secretary-General of the United Nations I think is a very significant achievement. Actually for Helen Clark to be such a serious contender is a very significant achievement and I do think it's worth us investing a bit of time and money into doing that."

The next straw poll is on August 29.