Helen Clark promoting Helen Clark

Andrea Vance reports on Stuff Quote:

Cocktail parties and wine-fuelled film screenings to promote a Helen Clark documentary to foreign VIPs have cost taxpayers more than $33,000.  End of quote.

Wow, $33,000. That’s a lot of school lunches.  I guess fixing child poverty isn’t such a high priority after all.  Quote: 

Embassies around the world have been hosting events with the former PM to show off My Year With Helen, a fly-on-the-wall film about her failed bid for the top job at the United Nations.

The hospitality bill comes on top of the $870,000 taxpayer-funded NZ on Air and the Film Commission contributed to make the film.  End of quote.

So we’ve already stumped up close on $900k towards making the documentary, about Helen’s bid for the UN which was a failure, and now we are putting our hands in our pocket for another $33k for cocktail parties to re-live the failure.  Quote:

[…] “Some travel and accommodation assistance has been provided to Ms Clark and Ms Preston,” a spokeswoman for MFAT said. “The Ministry has procedures in place to ensure that the allocation of funding to support our public diplomacy efforts is well-directed and well-managed, including where overseas travel by former Prime Ministers can be of assistance in supporting New Zealand’s interests.”  End of quote.

Really? Promoting New Zealand’s interests? I just don’t see how showing the documentary of a failed UN bid can be seen to promote New Zealand’s interests. Helen Clark’s interests are more like it.  Quote:

She added: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has supported the promotion of  the film My Year With Helen in a number of countries because of the valuable role the film, supported by the availability of Ms Clark, can play in promoting New Zealand’s interests.  As a former Prime Minister and Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ms Clark has a high global profile, and her availability when the film is shown and at associated events has attracted the attendance of senior government and non-government guests.”  End of quote.

Oh, except in Turkey, where no ministers bothered to show.  Quote:

Not all the events were as successful as they hoped. Only half the theatre in Ankara was filled and no Turkish ministers appeared, as it was the height of an election campaign.  End of quote.

Sounds like money well spent then.


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