opinion

In the great Australian tradition of stealing icons from NZ, can we have Helen Clark, please?

I was in NZ earlier this year, and I joked about pavlova.

Tips for new players. DO NOT JOKE ABOUT PAVLOVA IN NEW ZEALAND.

Our kiwi friends take pavlova very seriously, and if you try to claim it as an Australian dish, they will rub the Bledisloe Cup in your face. (I understand the Bledisloe Cup is some sort of indication of sporting prowess, but who am I to fact check know that sort of thing?)

Anyway, I joked about pavlova, and then I joked about;

Split Enz.

Russell Crowe.

ANZAC biscuits.

Lorde.

The flat white.

Phar Lap.

What can I say? I enjoy the great Australian tradition of stealing New Zealand cultural icons, whacking boxing kangaroo on them and calling them my own.

And here is one I would like to add to the list.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is Helen Clark. Former Prime Minister of New Zealand.

But why? Why would I want to claim Helen Clark for Australia?

Because, friends, she is a leading candidate for UN Secretary General. And that’s a good thing for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, there has never been a woman in the job. We’ve had eight blokes, it’s time for a woman.

Secondly, Helen Clark is the best thing to come out of New Zealand since the Chocolate Fish.

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Step aside Pineapple Lumps. The Chocolate Fish is New Zealand's best lolly. Image via Kiwi Shop Online.

Thirdly, Australia has some skin in this game. The Australian Government, by virtue of a vote of Malcolm Turnbull's cabinet, has declined to nominate our own former PM, Kevin Rudd for the position.

And look, Rudd has his supporters and his detractors. Most notable among the detractors was former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally who labelled him a 'psychopathic narcissistic' on Sky News. "I can think of 12 Australians off the top of my head who would be a better secretary-general, and one of them is my Labrador," she quipped.

Wow. Tell us what you really think, Kristina.

Whatever you might have thought of Kevin Rudd's brief foray into UN leadership politics, it's my strong position that we fast track Australian citizenship for Helen Clark, slap a vegemite vita-wheat in one hand, carefully remove the Speights stubby from her other hand, edit her wikipedia entry and claim her as Aussie as Crowded House. After all, that's what we do with our Olympic Athletes.

Early indications out of the UN Security Council, who offer their thoughts through formal "straw polls" taken of member states before the General Assembly vote, suggest that while Helen is looking strong she's not likely to get the gig.

There are six female candidates in the race for UN Secretary General, and according to Quartz, the leading female candidate is Irina Bokova, the Bulgarian director-general of UNESCO, who came in third in the first straw poll.

Helen Clark came in fifth. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. Oi, oi, oi.

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