A lament heard from time to time is that New Zealand does not celebrate its high achievers enough - unless of course they're on the rugby field.

Yet for a small country we regularly punch well above our weight when it comes to a range of fields such as business, arts, literature and humanities to name but a few.

She showed young girls growing up in New Zealand that women could indeed do anything and continues to be a role model for many.

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It was confirmed yesterday former Prime Minister Helen Clark will join the race to become the next Secretary-General of the United Nations.

If she wins, Clark will have more than 40,000 staff and earn a tax-free base salary of about US$230,000 ($338,000) as well as accommodation in New York. Not to mention the influence and responsibility that comes with it.

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Jobs don't get much bigger than that (albeit it having been described as the most difficult job in the world by the man who first held the role).

International media have already started weighing up her chances, with the UK's Guardian calling her "a serious contender".

If successful she would be the first woman to hold the top job, which some commentators are tipping could work in her favour, pointing to a push to get a woman in the role.

As Prime Minister from 1999-2008 you couldn't help but admire Clark's no-nonsense attitude and her intellect, no matter whether you agreed with her policies. She showed young girls growing up in New Zealand that women could indeed do anything and continues to be a role model for many.

With her more recent work with the UN, her reputation has spread and she is now a role model not just for young Kiwis but many more around the world. Clark now has a tough campaign ahead of her to win the vote of the Security Council. It would be great to see all of New Zealand back her campaign and show we are past the days of cutting down our tallest poppies. Clark as Secretary-General would be an incredible achievement all of New Zealand could be proud of. Good luck to her.