What a whirlwind three weeks it has been since the white smoke puffed out of Winston Peters' chimney, and Jacinda Ardern was anointed prime minister - just as we pundits 100 per cent always knew he would. The coalition government has wasted no time in pushing through the gears, initiating an ambitious 100-day plan, travelling across the hemisphere and coming to terms with basic arithmetic.
But amid all the action and bluster it would be easy to miss just which portfolios and special responsibilities had been assigned to the main players. Herewith, then, for anyone yet to get their head around the new arrangements, the post-election reshuffle of New Zealand's leading politicians.
Member responsible for blinking every half hour or so and thinking, bloody hell, I'm the prime minister, as events of the last two months strobe through the brain.
Member responsible for blinking every half hour or so and thinking, bloody hell, I'm not the prime minister any more, as events of the last two months strobe through the brain.
Minister in charge of having had homework eaten by a dog, and if you wish he can produce the dog, which walks like a dog and talks like a dog and definitely isn't actually a minister of the crown dressed up as a dog, what a ridiculous idea, look it can bark up to 120 anytime it wants but actually what this good doggy wants is for everyone to get along, so how come the National opposition are being disruptive and horrible, it's like they hate democracy, why do they hate democracy, another clear example of the failure of National standards, in fact here's an original way of looking at it: the thing about the National Party is it is neither national nor a party. Additional responsibilities include lightning rod for widespread outrage at the sight of the opposition debasing New Zealand with its bizarre fixation upon opposing.
Minister in charge of furious diatribes against enemies of justice, not least the media for their demonstrably mendacious and injurious slurs, with added responsibility for a slightly puzzling enthusiasm for deals with Russia, but with the greatest respect not so much like the bronzed Adonis of the White House, more like Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride, which is to say with a tireless zeal for vengeance and a smile that melts all hearts.
Speaker of the House and one-man parliamentary daycare, capable of sending even the most hysterical, colic-ridden infant into a deep slumber simply by explaining in great detail the abstruse but fascinating historiography of Standing Orders 135(1) and (2).
Talisman for newly discovered button-popping Hulk-like zeal.
Minister in charge of test cricket and early 90s Flying Nun obscurities.
Human blessed with the opportunity at last to oppose the Labour Party from Opposition rather than from government, no need for anyone else to do opposing, he's got it covered, sit bloody down will you. With associate responsibility for holes.
Member responsible for singing a lullaby while disembowelling an idiot.
Act leader and special rapporteur for gazing blankly into the abyss.
Parliamentarian focused on keeping head down.
Member with responsibility for a tungsten carbide smile and everything being totally fine, babes, why wouldn't it be why wouldn't it, and for single-handedly ending satire in New Zealand.
Green Party caucus
Members in charge of biting tongues until they bleed.
Minister responsible for waking up in a cold sweat from a nightmare in which the prime minister and her deputy had gone overseas and someone walks into the room and tells you you're acting PM.
Minister in charge of taking Kelvin Davis to one side, reciting a lengthy ornithological proverb about brotherhood, and offering to undertake with great amity and beneficence the task of running the place, e hoa. Additional responsibility for single-handedly planting a billion trees the length and breadth of what he calls "the land of the long white cloud", Aotearoa New Zealand, etcetera.
Tsar of permanent bewilderment at the failure of New Zealanders to come around to his way of thinking, chief cheerleader of the death of people's beloved pets when frankly the only dead cats he should be pontificating about are stockmarket bounces; mid to low-ranking impersonator of the bronzed Adonis of the White House; and a living, hyperventilating evidence-based argument that you cannot put lipstick on a prig.
Honorary President of all Cats and Posthumous New Zealander of the Year.