Most former leaders are happy to leave their party to their successors. Muldoon was the famous exception to this, and Clark is looking it seems to join her ranks.
We already found out via The Listener that Clark is in regular, almost daily, contact with many MPs. She still has the party administration ferociously loyal to her, and now thanks to the NZ Herald we find out she is operating as a sort of party whip for former MPs:
Former prime minister Helen Clark pressured her former ministerial colleague Margaret Shields not to accept the title “Dame”.
But the former MP for Kapiti did not buckle, and this afternoon she will be invested as a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. …
Helen Clark sent Mrs Shields a letter setting out why Labour had abolished the titles and saying she hoped she would not accept one. …
Helen Clark, now Administrator of the United Nations Development Fund, is in New Zealand on holiday but could not be reached for comment.
But she is understood to have been deeply disappointed that Dame Margaret and some others to whom her Government awarded high non-titular honours had accepted titles.
I’m staggered by this. To have the former PM writing letters to previous recipients trying to pressure them into turning down the titles is just so petty. You think she would have better things to do with her time.