Speculation on the future career of Labour politician Judith Tizard ended today with an announcement from Helen Clark that she would be taking the ousted Auckland Central MP to the United States with her this August, when she travels to New York to take up her new job as head of the United Nations Development Program.
It had been rumoured that Tizard would stand as a Labour Party candidate in Clark’s Mt Albert electorate, return to Parliament as a list MP or even run for mayor of Auckland’s supercity. Those rumours were quashed today with the news of her departure for New York. Clark advised that she has not yet informed Tizard about her upcoming move, as the prospect of such a long journey would only frighten and confuse her. Tizard will be leaving a month before Clark, as US Department of Agriculture regulations state that Tizard – who was Minister of Auckland, as well as Associate Minister for Arts and Transport – must spend at least a month in quarantine before she can enter the US.
Sources close to Helen Clark warn that Tizard will no longer have the same care-free lifestyle in New York as she did in Auckland or Wellington.
‘Judith was unsupervised a lot of the time,’ said a former staff member in Clark’s department. ‘Although she spent most of the day sleeping on a couch by the window in Helen’s office she would also roam around the beehive, wandering into diplomatic lunches and state dinners where she would delight guests by performing tricks, such as begging for food or rolling over and playing dead.’ …
Clark is understood to have purchased an automatic feeder to prevent Tizard from starving during her absence. At a preset time every morning and evening the device will dispense a serving of Swiss liquer chocolates into a bowl. It also fills her dish with Vueve Cliquot when Tizard presses her nose against a panel on the side of the machine.
Read the whole thing.