Premiered at the New Zealand International Film Festival, 2006.
Premiered at the NewZealand International Film Festival, 2007.
Premiered at The Documentaryedge Festival 2010.
Film Work, 2006-2013
As a filmmaker, Claudia has directed four films to date, with the fourth (the "authorised" biography of the former New Zealand Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Helen Clark) broadcast on NZ television in July 2013.
From Waikato farm girl to University Lecturer, Member of Parliament to Prime Minister and recently to a top job at the united Nations. This 90 minute Platinum Funded NZ on Air TV3 production explores the path taken by New Zealand’s first elected woman Prime Minister and explores her experiences and personal development on her journey to become the Leader of the nation.
The documentary film is framed to look at the formative events and that Helen Clark and her post war “baby boomer” generation experienced. It explores her upbringing as a country farm girl, her experiences at boarding school to opening to the wider world of politics during the Vietnam War era, the anti-nuclear protest in the Pacific and in New Zealand waters, the anti-apartheid movement and of women's rights. Helen Clark’s political ambitions were realized in election to Parliament through to becoming the Leader of the NZ Labour Party and as Prime Minister for nine years.
Helen screened on Air New Zealand's In Flight entertainment system for 6 months after release and has been reshown annually by TV3.
The documentary transcripts The Helen Clark Story; Interviews for a Documentary was released as a book in October 2015 by Auckland University Press.
Claudia Pond Eyley co-director/ co-producer
Dan Salmon co-director/ co-producer
Quotes from Helen
Judith Tizard: “There was a clear campaign even then to see her as a dangerous, radical, single feminist.” (1981 Mt. Albert election)
Dame Cath Tizard: “The lesbian thing is so absurd and goes back such a long way… You know that nonsense went on and it’s just sheer political malice.”
Helen Clark: “Yes, I did take part in protests at Eden Park… they were tense and difficult times”. (Springbok Tour 1981)
Denys Welch: ”… and she faced them down and she unleashed her inner farm girl and told them all to “get in behind”, mustered them and took strength from that.” (Attempted coup as Leader of Labour Party 1996)
Helen Clark: “Chances are if you declare war on a set of politicians, you are going to get the fire returned, and that’s what happened.” (Winter of Discontent- Business Roundtable 2000)
Helen Clark: “We did not go where there wasn’t a mandate and that was a very important consideration in not going to Iraq… apart from the fact that wild horses couldn’t drag an old Vietnam War protestor to Iraq”. (Decision not to join the “coalition of the willing” to Iraq)
Jim Anderton: “I saw her in tears many times and she’s a pretty tough cookie, she was under pressure all the time.”
Don Brash: ”She’s fiercely intelligent and she has a degree of ruthlessness that I think you must have to be the leader of a major political party.”
Peter Davis: ”The guys in the protection squad, you could see them wilting and Helen was still going strong.”
Nanaia Mahuta: “ Driven… did I say that? She walks mountains.“
Richard Prebble: “Having a woman Prime Minster for nine years tells every girl in the country that women can do anything.”
Jacinda Arden: “When I was campaigning in Huntly, the kids used to call her “Aunty Helen”, especially ones in hoodies.”
Helen Clark: “I could never have done the things that I have done if I had had children- simply impossible.”
Jane Clifton: “She had that death stare, she would stand up at a press conference and say, “it’s time to move on.”
Helen Clark: “I was appalled in that last campaign to hear from colleagues in the South Island, of people driving around in trucks with “DITCH THE BITCH” stickers on them.This is pretty low when it looked like a chance of driving us out of office.” (2008 Election)
Geoffrey Palmer: “She went into politics to make a difference…. she made a difference.”
Winston Peters: "And when I had the chance to work with someone who made my life, made my job as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Overseas Aid, one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, and I am talking from experience as opposed to some who would criticize her who don’t know what they are talking about and are speaking purely from prejudice, or should I say, I went from prejudice to being a fair and balanced commentator where Helen Clark is concerned.
Matthew Hooten: "The greatest compliment to her is that John Key has largely mimicked her political style and embraced most of her major policy agendas."
Jim Bolger: "It was like a gambler at the table, they had put all their chips on Roger Douglas’s model, it collapsed, after that they had no chips left, and they had lost their social conscience that they were known for, that had been shattered and New Zealanders I think rightly said, “go away”. "
In 2006 her first documentary film Departure and Return -The Final Journey of the Rainbow Warrior was premiered in the NZ International Film Festival
She followed with No Nukes Is Good Nukes! The Legacy of New Zealand's Grassroots Ant-Nuclear Movement and the passage into law of the Act of Parliament in 1987 which saw New Zealand become a nuclear free nation.
2008 saw Kit & Maynie, the story of two 90 year old peace activists who live on Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand. The work was co-directed with Susi Newborn, who produced the film.