21 Aug 2008

Australia apologises for briefing paper on Helen Clark

8:17 am on 21 August 2008

Australia has apologised for details of a media briefing about New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark becoming public.

They were part of a briefing issued by the Australian High Commission in Wellington ahead of a meeting between Miss Clark and Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.

The briefing said she keeps tight control of everything the Labour Party does while in Government, and trusts few people outside her inner circle.

It also said she has foreign policy perspectives forged from the Vietnam War era.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade says it very much regrets the circulation of what it describes as an outdated internal draft.

Miss Clark has dismissed the briefing as 'a hoot'.