Sir Roger Douglas has claimed that Helen Clark tried to persuade him to come back as Finance Minister.

Helen Clark has consistently condemned Sir Roger's economic policies, but he told the Weekend Herald she actually tried to get him back in late 1989/early 1990.

Sir Roger said she visited his home in Manukau's Redoubt Rd and tried to talk him into taking the job again.

"She tried to persuade me. She wouldn't want that out, would she?"

Sir Roger resigned as Finance Minister in 1988 after clashing with Prime Minister David Lange over Rogernomics. The story that subsequent Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer wanted Sir Roger back in 1990 is well known - although not that Helen Clark, then Deputy Prime Minister, might have played a part.

Helen Clark's public condemnation of Sir Roger's economic policies continued right up until her recent departure to the United Nations. With Michael Cullen, she is portrayed as defending against, then repairing, Sir Roger's work.

Asked about Sir Roger's comments, a UN spokeswoman for Helen Clark said she was not available.

The issue of Sir Roger's possible return in 1990 was raised again this week by Dr Cullen, who in his valedictory speech recalled rushing to prevent it.

"The biggest speeding fine I ever got was driving back from Whakatane to Wellington in January 1990 when I heard on the news that Geoffrey Palmer was supposedly moving to reinstate Roger Douglas as Minister of Finance," Dr Cullen said.

"I hit 134km/h before a firm but polite traffic cop restored me to my senses."

Sir Roger said of the later battles with Helen Clark and Dr Cullen: "I'm a hell of a lot kinder to them than they are to me."