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The University of Southampton

New Zealand Prime Minister launches University lecture series

Published: 25 September 2007

The Rt Hon Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand, will be at the University of Southampton on 2 October to launch a short series of lectures about New Zealand with a talk entitled Social democracy under the Southern Cross: New Zealand in the 21st century.

Her lecture in Southampton is one of just two lectures the New Zealand PM is giving in the UK during a visit to Europe for talks with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, new French President Nicolas Sarkozy, NATO and the European Union.

Helen Clark came to power in December 1999 and started her third successive term as Prime Minister in 2005. She was ranked by Forbes magazine as the 38th most powerful woman in the world in 2007. She is New Zealand's second woman prime minister.

Her government has brought in significant changes to the New Zealand welfare system, such as introducing child tax credits, and has changed industrial-relations law and raised the minimum wage six times. She has also been praised for overseeing a period of sustained and stable economic growth, with an increase in employment that has seen a gradual lowering of the unemployment rate.

Helen Clark's lecture is the first of four in a series called The 'new' New Zealand organised by the University's School of Humanities. Other lectures in the series include film critic Mark Kermode on Kiwi cinema, and journalist, former diplomat and MP and All Black (1963 - 1970) Dr Chris Laidlaw on sport in Kiwi society.

Helen Clark's lecture takes place at 6pm on Tuesday 2 October in the lecture theatre in the Nightingale Building on Highfield campus. The event is free but pre-booked tickets are essential for admission.

Notes for editors

The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. It is one of the UK's top 10 research universities, offering first-rate opportunities and facilities for study and research across a wide range of subjects in humanities, health, science and engineering. The University has around 20,000 students and over 5000 staff. Its annual turnover is in the region of £310 million.

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