After what seems like an extraordinary amount of time, but was in fact only 26 days, New Zealand has a new government.

Before Winston Peters announced his decision last night, news outlets and social media had been abuzz with speculation, reading signs into the moves of every politician in the country to try to determine which way he would lean.

At one point about an hour before his announcement, loud clapping was heard from the Labour quarters, which had everyone speculating that Peters had chosen Labour, only to later discover the party members had been enthusiastically reacting to an episode of Family Feud.

It shows what tenterhooks the country has been hanging on.


And now the reins will be handed over to a new government and a new prime minister, Jacinda Ardern.

Ardern hasn't been in a leadership position within the Labour Party long, but her talent and charisma have become obvious through watching her exponential rise within the party's ranks.

In January, Ardern became an electorate MP for the first time after a byelection in Mount Albert and it was in March this year that she was made deputy leader of the party, following Annette King's resignation, and only five months after that when she was appointed the leader.

So, within a year, Ardern has gone from an opposition list MP to Prime Minister of New Zealand.

It will be a huge blow for Bill English, who has now twice failed to get the National Party into government while leading the party.

English has been a competent Prime Minister but always had big shoes to fill after the popular and well-liked John Key resigned in December.

What now remains to be seen is what position Peters will fill in the new government and how well he and Ardern will work together in running the country.