The Prime Minister was so concerned about Winston Peters' lobbying for Owen Glenn to become honorary consul to Monaco that she told the Foreign Affairs Ministry to let her know if it happened again, the Herald understands.
Her concerns were heightened after she met Mr Glenn in February, when he told her he had made a big donation to Mr Peters.
But it was never raised again by Mr Peters, the New Zealand First leader, with his ministry.
Mr Glenn today told Newstalk ZB there was no connection between the donation and his wish to be honorary consul in Monaco.
"These are separate things. I am trying to be a nice New Zealander if you like and people are trying to make something that is serious out of it," he said.
The release yesterday of heavily censored documents by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on the appointment have put the spotlight back on the donations affair that has dogged Mr Peters since July.
The documents - emails and reports - show Mr Peters wanted Mr Glenn to get the position, contrary to the impression he has tried to give, and was frustrated at the process and the time it was taking for the Ambassador to France to check him out.
The papers also show the ministry stone-walling Mr Peters' attempts to get Mr Glenn appointed.
The ministry official in Mr Peters' office last August, Rob Moore-Jones, wrote to deputy secretary Peter Hamilton on August 30 last year: "Peter, just to let you know that Minister had another go last night about the above [Monaco] - still a raw nerve there!"
Mr Peters met Mr Glenn at the Rugby World Cup in Paris a few weeks later.
The papers include a note from an unnamed assistant of Mr Glenn's to Mr Peters saying: "Quick message on behalf of Owen. Believe you had a successful meeting in Paris and Owen is now wondering the next step in regards to the appointment in Monaco."
Helen Clark rang Mr Peters after Mr Glenn mentioned the donation to her during a private meeting in February.
But Mr Peters denied he had received any money from the expatriate transport mogul.
Parliament's privileges committee subsequently found that Mr Peters did know about a $100,000 donation Mr Glenn gave towards Mr Peters' legal costs in December 2005.
Mr Peters told Radio New Zealand today he only ever asked the ministry to investigate the merit in appointing an honorary consul in Monaco, and he did not push for any particular person to be appointed to the role.
The decision on an appointment in Monaco was subject to the same "tardy" decision-making by Mfat that he experienced over a decision on a similar appointment in the Ukraine, and the organisation of his trip to North Korea, he said.
"You'll find similar correspondence (on these issues), saying 'when you're asked to do something, do it now'," he said.
"I wanted them to give me the answer - do we need a consul today, in 2007, in Monaco and, if so, would you check this man (Mr Glenn) out."
When the ministry came back and said a consul was not needed in Monaco " that was the end of it", Mr Peters said.
Campaigning in Queenstown yesterday, Mr Peters still maintained he did not know about the donation, so there could be no connection between it and the Monaco post.
He said the Foreign Affairs material - released to One News under appeal by the Ombudsman - was "more stale than Colin Meads' football boots".
Helen Clark's discussions with Mr Glenn about the donation became known in August and she has maintained that they were both honourable men with conflicting stories.
But her instructions to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to effectively insert herself into the process suggest she had strong concerns about a possible donation and Mr Peters' lobbying.
Yesterday, she said Mr Peters believed Mr Glenn was best for the job "but once I heard that there had been a donation - Mr Glenn believed there had been one - I didn't think it was appropriate."
We run things sort of under a process here. The minister doesn't get in before the process has even started and give his view. What sort of ministry do you think I am running?
What Winston Peters told reporters at his "No" donations press conference in February this year.
- With NZPA