HELEN CLARK Essay

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Helen Clark was the eldest of four daughters of a Waikato farming family. She graduated, at the University of Auckland, with a BA (Bachelor’s Degree) in 1971 and an MA (Master’s Degree) with First Class Honors in 1974.

Clark says she grew up in a home with “little spontaneous emotion”, with a “dominant” father and a “distant” mother. Although she wasn’t on great terms with her family she still strived hard to achieve her goal of being a politician.
As a teenager Clark became politically active, protesting against the Vietnam War and campaigning against foreign military bases in New Zealand. The eighteen year old, wrote Clark years later, “Seemed to drift naturally towards the political causes on campus, like the campaign against Omega foreign military bases. That was the first demonstration I went on and I really enjoyed it.” This shows that Clark was a person who went on doing what she loved from the moment she first enjoyed it.
Clark was elected prime minister in the year of 1999, holding the portfolio of arts and culture herself; she appointed an extraordinarily diverse cabinet, including 11 women and 4 Maori.
As prime minister, Clark addressed many controversial issues, including Maori rights, same-sex civil unions, and prostitution, which was legalized in 2003. Her government also opposed the U.S. and British invasion of Iraq. She was reelected prime minister in both 2002 and 2005, the first New Zealand prime minister to secure three consecutive terms in office. Amid an economic downturn, Clark’s Labour Party was defeated by John Key and the National Party in the 2008 election. Clark…