Helen Clark Foundation

The Helen Clark Foundation (Māori: Mahi a Rongo) is an Aotearoa New Zealand-based independent, non-partisan public policy think tank hosted by Auckland University of Technology.[1][2]

The Helen Clark Foundation
Mahi a Rongo
The Helen Clark Foundation logo.jpg
Formation2019; 3 years ago (2019)
TypePublic policy think tank
Headquarters55 Wellesley Street East, Auckland CBD
Executive Director
Katherine (Kathy) Errington


The Foundation was formed in 2019 and is named after Helen Clark, the 37th prime minister of New Zealand and former administrator of the United Nations Development Programme who serves as patron.[3] Its mission is to create public policy research which promotes the values demonstrated by Helen Clark across her lengthy public career: inclusion, fairness, and sustainability.

The founding executive director is Katherine (Kathy) Errington, a former diplomat.[2] Its board currently includes Professor Peter Davis (Chair), Dr Hinemoa Elder, Dr Tamasailau Suaalii-Sauni, Rajen Prasad QSO, Helen Klisser During, Simon Mitchell and Geoff Pownall. Former board members include Dame Cindy Kiro and Joan Caulfield.[4]


The Foundation publishes research and hosts public events about the major challenges facing Aotearoa New Zealand. Its work is oriented toward a progressive perspective on its concerns.


The Foundation is funded by members, by donations, and by major partners including WSP New Zealand and the MAS Foundation. It is a registered charity in New Zealand governed by a board of six trustees.[5]


Research reportsEdit

The Foundation publishes research reports about a range of important public policy issues in New Zealand on its website. Previous reports have covered issues including climate change and decarbonisation, democracy, drug policy, sustainable cities, housing, and a series examining policy challenges emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic.[6][7]


The Foundation researched alcohol harm in 2021 in collaboration with Health Coalition Aotearoa.[8] These unique data sets and subsequent media coverage are collated on the Foundation's website.


The Foundation hosts a variety of guests providing perspectives on the big issues of the day and publishes each webinar on its website. Previous guests have included:

In-person panel discussionsEdit

The Foundation supports in person seminars on policy topics including drug policy law reform, sustainable development goals, and sustainable cities.


  1. ^ Cheng, Derek (4 March 2019). "Helen Clark Foundation set up to tackle big issues of the day". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Helen Clark to launch AUT think tank focusing on sustainability, peace and inclusiveness". TVNZ. 3 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Rt Hon Helen Clark: Speech at Launch of The Helen Clark Foundation, Auckland 21 March 2019". Helen Clark NZ. 23 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Our People". The Helen Clark Foundation. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  5. ^ "About Us". The Helen Clark Foundation. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  6. ^ "CEAC press release on Environment | Scoop News". Scoop.co.nz. 21 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Drug Policy Reform Archives". The Helen Clark Foundation. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Hospitals see surge in accidents, injury on big boozing days like Hyde St party | The New Zealand Herald". nzherald.co.nz. 17 April 2021. Retrieved 17 April 2021.

External linksEdit