Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Have you ever wondered where she gets her good looks from?

Former PM Helen Clark in Bay with parents

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark is in the Western Bay this week on an unannounced visit to New Zealand from her home in New York.

The Bay of Plenty Times contacted Ms Clark at the home of her parents, George and Margaret Clark, in Waihi Beach yesterday, after a reader reported speaking to her in the cafeteria at Tauranga Hospital on Sunday evening.

The surprised woman said she noticed Ms Clark, who administers the United Nations Development Programme, and approached her.

The woman said she told Ms Clark she looked "gorgeous" and was getting younger by the year.

She also asked if Ms Clark was on holiday in Tauranga, to which she responded: "Somewhat of a holiday."

Ms Clark would not comment on why she was here, only saying that she would not be giving interviews and was "home on family business".

Her parents retired to Waihi Beach from Auckland.

The Bay of Plenty Times last spoke to Ms Clark during a three-week holiday at her parents' home when she was appointed to the Order of New Zealand in the 2010 New Year's Honours.

Ms Clark received the honour for services to New Zealand.

She was the first female Prime Minister to win office at an election and the fifth-longest serving Prime Minister of New Zealand.

The Christmas holiday was the first Ms Clark and husband Peter Davis had taken at Waihi Beach in 10 years.

Ms Clark, who was Prime Minister from 1999 to 2008, is also the first female to lead the UN Development Programme, the third most senior role in the United Nations.

Now two years into the four-year term, Ms Clark is responsible for overseeing a US$5 billion ($6 billion) budget, which is mostly spent on programmes in Africa.

She is also chair of the United Nations Development Group.

This is a committee consisting of the heads of all UN funds, programmes and departments working on development issues.

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