Former Prime Minister Helen Clark has been accused of misrepresenting her appearance in a United Nations website profile picture.

She was appointed Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme in 2009.

Her profile page on the UN website carries a biography and high-resolution version of the picture.

John Creser, of Wellington, complained to the UN ethics office that Helen Clark had misrepresented her image on the website, saying it was wrong for her to use a computer-generated image, or avatar.


Mr Creser believed the website should use a natural, unedited image of her face.

"Why should an airbrushed - new chin, no jowls - campaign image of her that wouldn't be permitted as a passport photograph be considered suitable for the United Nations website?" he said.

In 2008 a voter complained to the Advertising Standards Authority about a Labour Party flyer, saying the photo made the then-Prime Minister look too young and glamorous.

The authority ruled the photos did not break advertising codes.

Helen Clark is on her way to New Zealand for a holiday and could not be reached for comment