NZPA - Prime Minister-elect John Key says he would be happy for his predecessor Helen Clark to take a role on the international stage if that is what she wanted.
Miss Clark announced she was standing down as Labour leader last night after losing yesterday's election, though she intended staying on as the MP for Mt Albert for now.
Mr Key told journalists today there was a historic precedent for former prime ministers to take on an international role in order to use their abilities after their time in Parliament ceased.
"That would be something that clearly we could discuss in the future, but I wouldn't rule it out," Mr Key said.
"I think most New Zealanders would recognise the enormous service that Helen Clark has done."
Asked if he saw Miss Clark in an ambassadorial role, Mr Key said it was far too early to say, as he did not know whether Miss Clark was interested in such a job.
"I am simply recognising her skills."
Former National prime minister Jim Bolger served as ambassador to Washington.