Prime Minister Helen Clark said today the guilty verdict handed down to Saddam Hussein was the appropriate result but she did not want him executed.
The former Iraqi president has been sentenced to hang for crimes against humanity.
Helen Clark said today it was no surprise Saddam was found guilty which she thought was "highly appropriate".
"However, I have a long-standing objection to the death penalty and that will always be a concern to me," Miss Clark told Newstalk ZB.
Asked whether Saddam got a fair trail, Helen Clark replied that it was difficult to say from this distance.
His supporters would always say it was not fair while others would say he got exactly the justice he deserved.
"That will be a reflection of how polarised Iraq is today," she said.