If it hadn’t been Laws I might have bitten my tongue because while I oppose many of her policies I can’t deny Helen Clark made an impact domestically and internationally.
But I find Auckland University’s decision to award her an Honorary Doctorate of Laws baffling.
This is the woman who forged not just one, but about half a dozen, works of art over 20 years and didn’t understand that it was wrong; who turned her back on her police drivers when they sped through Canterbury on her behalf; and who flouted electoral spending rules then passed legislation to retrospectively validate it and then brought in the Electoral Finance Act in the – mistaken – belief it would let her get away with mis-spending tax payers money again.
The Herald says that while it is permissable to use the title Dr, it is accepted practice in New Zealand to forgo the title.
Accepted practice or not, given her aversion to titular honours which she reinforced in her valedictory speech, it would seem more than a little hypoctritical to use the honorific.
For other views on the issue:
Keeping stock asks what?
Kiwiblog thinks it should be retrospective
Cactus Kate announces the end of her alumni contributions
Fairfacts Media see the irony
PM of NZ muses on ‘sign of commitment’
While Deborah at The Hand Mirror is far more gracious, and regards it as a fitting honour