A crowd several hundred strong turned out this morning to farewell Helen Clark as she left Parliament as Prime Minister for the last time to present her Government’s official resignation to the Governor-General.
Even though I’m a Greenie, I always find Labour events amazingly heart-warming – such a huge variety of people young and old from all walks of life. And whether they’re officials, members, or supporters, they’re all just ordinary warm, good-hearted Kiwis who believe in a fairer, better New Zealand. It’s always a wonderful atmosphere amongst them. Although this was a sad occasion, there was still a strong sense of camaraderie, and of pride in a job well done.
After Clark’s car pulled away, the out-going ministers were surrounded by supporters. I was standing just beside the cameraman as this pic of Michael Cullen was taken. The woman must have asked him if he was feeling OK and, with that quick good-humoured wit that I’ve always found him to have in person, he smiled ‘well, I’ve had better months’ before bounding up the steps back to work.
So, we farewell the best government of my lifetime and one of our best ever. They and every one of their supporters can be enormously proud that their hard work has made New Zealand a better place for all.