The Helen Clark Foundation

The Helen Clark Foundation is an independent public policy think tank
based in Auckland. Launched in 2019, the Foundation publishes research that aims to contribute to a more inclusive, fair, and sustainable society. Our goal is to gather, interpret and communicate evidence in order to both diagnose the problems we face and propose new solutions to tackle them.

New problems confront our society and our environment, both in New Zealand and internationally. We aim to address these issues in a manner consistent with the values of former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, who serves as our patron. We advocate for ideas and encourage debate, we do not campaign for political parties or candidates. Early focus areas include environmental issues, justice reform, and drug policy law reform.

Our Patron, The Right Honorable 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. She also championed New Zealand’s independent foreign policy and support for multilateralism.

Subsequently Helen Clark led the United Nations Development Programme from 2009-2017. She was the first woman and first New Zealander to hold the position of Administrator. Helen Clark stepped down after eight years and two terms as Administrator in April 2017. She now engages in public advocacy across a range of issues which motivated her career in public service.

Our People

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

The operation of the foundation is led by the Executive Director. We draw on a network of other supporters.

The foundation is an independent trust. We are a registered charity in New Zealand and governed by a board of four trustees.