Helen Clark has been ranked as the 21st most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine.
The head of the UN's development programme is the only New Zealander in the list of 100 women - and moves up from number 50 two years ago and 61 two years before that.
It is the ninth time she has featured on the list.
Helen Clark is in charge of a budget of almost $6 billion and a staff of 8000 in 177 countries.
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Once again, first on the Forbes list is German Chancellor Angela Merkel. It is the seventh time she has been number one.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Gates Foundation co-chair Melinda Gates, US First lady Michelle Obama, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg take the other top spots.