The Helen Clark Foundation

The Herald reports:

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark is set to launch her own foundation for independent research into major issues of the day, including climate change and drug policy reform.

I’m think this is a good thing. We need more thinktanks, not less. I may not agree with much of what they say, but public policy is enhances by having thinktanks doing good research in topical areas.

The foundation’s board is chaired by her husband Peter Davis, a public health specialist.
The board also includes Clark’s long-time friend and confidante Joan Caulfield, who served as her electorate agent, as well as accountant Geoff Pownall and lawyer Simon Mitchell.

It is unclear whether this is the same Simon Mitchell who once worked in Clark’s electorate office and bought the painting at the centre of ‘Paintergate’ controversy.
Clark had signed a painting that she had not painted, and it was auctioned for charity. Mitchell bought the painting from the original buyer and then gave it to Caulfield, who destroyed it.

It is the same Simon Mitchell.

The foundation is partnering with the Auckland University of Technology and The Policy Observatory while the Foundation becomes established.

I’m not quite sure what partnering means. Does it mean funded by? While I’m supportive of the new foundation, I’m not supportive of taxpayer money going on it.

Clark is a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which promotes drug policy based on people’s health and safety.

On drug policy I am broadly in agreement with Helen Clark.

Errington said that the foundation needed to fundraise, and believed the funding so far had come from Clark herself.
“We’re just trying to get off the ground. Anyone who is keen to be part of it should feel free to approach us.”

That sounds like there isn’t taxpayer funding, which is good.

The foundation’s website is here.

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