Key Points:

Labour's biggest donor, expatriate businessman Owen Glenn, says the Government is planning to make him New Zealand's honorary consul in Monaco, if Foreign Minister Winston Peters signs it off.

His claim comes after earlier reports that he was offered the role of Transport Minister were dismissed as a joke by Mr Glenn yesterday.

Mr Glenn said Prime Minister Helen Clark had approved it and had told Mr Peters to "get on with it".

Such positions are held by lay people, rather than diplomats, to promote New Zealand's interests in countries or cities where it does not already have representation.

Mr Glenn conceded the Government might have changed its mind about him because it had not been raised with him lately.

But the claim is likely to add further embarrassment to Helen Clark, who yesterday sought to distance herself from Mr Glenn after he claimed in the Dominion Post that she had tried to lure him back to New Zealand to become Transport Minister.

Mr Glenn himself issued a statement yesterday through a public relations company saying, "I was not offered a Cabinet position."

"My comments on this matter were lighthearted and have been taken out of context."

He said it was unfortunate that his comments were now being used as "a political football".

Helen Clark's spokeswoman said last night: "No appointment has been made. She has not offered it. It is not hers to offer. She has received no advice on it."

Asked if the Prime Minister had discussed an appointment with Mr Glenn, the spokeswoman said: "No. It is not hers to offer. No papers have ever come to her."

The issue arose in an interview Mr Glenn had with a Herald feature writer last week about his gift of $7.5 million to Auckland University's business school.

On Thursday, Helen Clark will be opening a building at the school named after him.

The Herald had been asking about his living in Monaco and he replied: "The Government is planning to make me the consul-general [honorary consul] of Monaco."

He added: "If Winston ever gets off his arse - you can print that!"

Mr Glenn said he had met Mr Peters for breakfast in Paris during the Rugby World Cup.

He said it might be presumptuous of him to say he was going to get the job, "because if they haven't followed through, maybe they have changed their mind, but they haven't said anything".

"It's up to Winston. He's Foreign Minister."

Mr Peters is in South Africa but a spokesman said last night he could never make comment on such appointments until the process was completed.

It is understood, however, that Mr Glenn sought the title of honorary consul in Monaco, a principality bordering France that is used as a tax haven.

Mr Glenn gave Labour $500,000 before the 2005 election and it was revealed only last week that after the election he also gave it an interest-free $100,000 loan that has since been repaid.

National has seized upon that because Labour president Mike Williams said around the time that Mr Glenn was made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year royal honours that he had not made any other donations.

Helen Clark said yesterday that the loan appeared in the party's audited accounts.

National MP Richard Worth is the honorary consul for Monaco in New Zealand.