COVID-19: Judith Collins throws support behind Helen Clark's World Health Organization role, says 'Jacinda Ardern's given her nothing to do'

Judith Collins is throwing her support behind Helen Clark co-heading an independent review of the World Health Organization (WHO). 

The WHO revealed on Friday (NZ time) Clark will work with Liberia's former President to scrutinise its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And one person who's content with Clark taking the role is National MP Collins - who says the former Prime Minister has been "utterly under-employed" for too long.

"It's the only job she's got - poor woman," Collins told The AM Show.

"Jacinda Ardern's given her nothing to do - good on the WHO for getting Helen Clark in there because I've got a lot of confidence in Helen.

"She's utterly under-employed and that's why she's on Twitter all the time talking about what the Government should be doing."

Labour MP Willie Jackson, who appeared on The AM Show alongside Collins, said Clark was "obviously a good woman".

"She's got the leadership skills necessary for this initiative so I think we all feel confident about it - I've got no problem with Helen at all doing it. I agree with Judith, she's perfect for it with her United Nations background," said Jackson.

Helen Clark.
Helen Clark. Photo credit: The AM Show

Appearing on the show after Collins and Jackson, Clark addressed her new role and said it will involve reviewing how the WHO and countries responded to COVID-19.

"When you're looking at the WHO-led response you're also looking at how countries responded to it; did countries play their part? There is a broader focus there," Clark said.

"I think we have to come to this with open minds - I think one of the reasons they've come to me is I'm seen as an independent person [and] a lot of countries have worked with me.

"What we're interested in is; how did the WHO respond when it knew? Did it have the tools that it needed? Did countries cooperate with it? There's a lot to unpack here.

"In a global pandemic you need a global health organisation which can lead, so the issue is; how can that organisation be the best that it can be?"