The Helen Clark Foundation - Public Policy Think Tank in NZ
Our patron

The Right Honourable Helen Clark

Helen Clark was Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1999-2008. During her nine years as Prime Minister, New Zealand enjoyed strong economic growth, low unemployment, and significant investment in public services. Her government set clear objectives for sustainable development and climate action.

Helen Clark became the Administrator of the United Nations Development Program in April 2009 and the Chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of the heads of all UN funds, programmes and departments working on development issues. She was the first woman to assume these positions, which she held for a full two terms and eight years before standing down in April 2017.

Visit Helen's website

Our Values

We stand for inclusion, fairness, and sustainability.

The Helen Clark Foundation promotes the values demonstrated by Helen Clark across her lengthy public career: inclusion, fairness, and sustainability. We believe that these values are an essential bedrock for a well-functioning democracy, and for effective public policy.

Aotearoa New Zealand is our home, and we approach our work with a view to both learning from international best practice as well as contributing a distinctly local voice to policy research.

Our funding

The Helen Clark Foundation is funded by our members, by donations, and with the support of our partners. We are an independent trust governed by a board of six trustees, and a registered charity in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Our ingoa (name)

Mahi a Rongo

Mahi a Rongo literally translates as ‘Work of Peace’, with both mahi and rongo embodying multiple meanings and associations in Te Ao Māori.

MAHI A RONGO is both what we aim to produce at the Helen Clark Foundation – public policy research that promotes peace, environmental stewardship, and care for all people – and it is how we aim to do it – by listening, collaborating, facilitating consensus, and supporting women and members of diverse communities to lead.

The name was gifted by Dr Haare Williams (Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki, Rongowhakaata, Ngāi Tūhoe) after a wānanga with the team about our work and the values that drive it.

Anake nga manu o te ngahere
Mahi mai te rongomau mai Te Po
He amokura he kotuku he huia
Ka Awatea

Ko te amokura te uru o te aroha. Ka hohoutia ko te rongomau toku mapihi maurea mo te ao, toku whakakai marihi. Ko te Mahi a Rongo he ata tautoko i Te Roopu hohou I te rongomau (spread peace) ki te ao e mohionuitia ko Te Helen Clark Foundation.

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