The failure of Jacinda Ardern's "year of delivery" creates a major PR challenge for the Beehive, but also for the Opposition.
For those still committed to reality-based politics, Ardern's "year of delivery" is as credible as her earlier promise to be "transformational".
KiwiBuild, the Billion Trees programme and the Provincial Growth Fund handing out only 3 per cent of the money Shane Jones has paraded are the most risible.
More seriously, Ardern appointed herself Minister for Child Poverty Reduction and declared it the reason she entered politics, yet by some measures it has worsened.
Beneficiary numbers and state-house waiting lists are up, with Phil Twyford claiming 1461 new state houses completed in 2018/19, hardly a transformational advance on the 1043, 466 and 732 over the previous three years.
The promise to deliver a Wellbeing Budget based on the Treasury's Living Standards Framework turned out to be a hoax, with Grant Robertson putting his Budget together in exactly the same way as his predecessors. His decision to increase the Government's debt limit by $16 billion suggests Steven Joyce was right, pre-election, to talk about a $12b fiscal hole.
The $1.9b finally poured into mental health has yet to expand services and came only after 18 months of report shuffling. The Government won't establish new measures around suicide to measure its efficacy.
Immigration from countries other than Australia is as high as ever, still above 100,000 a year, a massive number for a country of just 5 million people with already failing infrastructure.
At least in Auckland, there is no bold programme to address that infrastructure deficit, with vast bureaucratic effort going into analysing vanity projects like the airport tram rather than radically expanding the existing rail system and optimising the roading network.
The completion of Christchurch's anchor projects is no closer than ever.
NZ First's work to rationalise the North Island's ports and improve intercity rail proceed glacially.
On climate change — which Ardern called her generation's "nuclear-free moment" — spin continues to trump substance, with agriculture potentially going into the Emissions Trading Scheme but with 95 per cent subsidies. Who knew Ardern's climate "emergency" could be solved by dairy farmers paying just 1c per kilogram of milk solids?
As yet, no decisions have been made on reforming water allocation rights and cleaning up lakes and rivers. Plans for a water tax have gone the same way as Michael Cullen's capital gains tax.
On law and order, only 659 of Stuart Nash's 1800 new police have eventuated in net terms and violent crime is rising. Prisoner numbers are creeping back up despite Kelvin Davis' commitment to reduce them. The percentage of prisoners who are Māori has increased over the last year.
In contrast to Chris Finlayson's cracking pace, Andrew Little has signed just three Treaty of Waitangi deeds of settlement and made no progress with Ngāpuhi. No human remains will ever be recovered from Pike River, whatever Little tells the families.
In health, paying some DHB capital charges doesn't address their debt crisis and there has been no update on Heather Simpson's work to streamline them.
In education, the fees-free policy cost a fortune but first-year enrolments dropped. It has not been extended into a second year. There has been no rationalisation of provincial polytechnics nor the signalled nationalisation of industry training.
Better progress is evident in schools, with Chris Hipkins settling the teacher strikes, toughening the NCEA with more exams, and set to reject proposals for new regional bureaucracies to take over the legal functions of Boards of Trustees.
On economic policy, David Parker's Industry Accord Development Groups and Industry Transformation Plans are reminiscent of Joyce's Business Growth Agenda.
Business has not been delivered a liberalised Resource Management Act nor an extended Auckland Metropolitan Limit.
Unions wait in vain for the repeal of the Hobbit laws and the rollout of so-called Fair-Pay Agreements.
In foreign policy, Parker's failures on market access are forgivable given the global environment. But Winston Peters' talk of a US-NZ Free Trade Agreement is absurd, especially with Ardern directly criticising President Trump this week.
Ardern's Christchurch Call to eliminate violent extremist content online worked politically for her and embattled French President Emmanuel Macron, but is non-binding and includes only 15 other countries and not the US or China.
On ethical issues such as complying with the Official Information Act, answering parliamentary questions and managing conflicts of interest, the Ardern ministry has complied with the maxim that each Government is worse than the one before.
In a reality-based political environment, this record would make a mockery of Ardern's "year of delivery" but the arrival of both Trump and Ardern underlines the fact that we are now in a post-truth era.
Ardern may cultivate a brand of almost naive sincerity but those around her are at least as cynical as those around John Key.
They know it will be enough for Ardern to take to social media to declare the year of delivery a triumph and to thank New Zealanders for making it happen. "The Government didn't do this alone!" the Prime Minister will gush. "We all did this together!"
It will be amplified by those in the traditional media for whom challenging Ardern's narrative remains verboten. Those who break the taboo will be criticised for not embracing the vibe. Such negativity, her cheerleaders will tell us, is not who we are now.
In the post-truth era, the Opposition pointing out the sheer emptiness of the Prime Minister's utterances will achieve no more than the Washington Post frantically fact-checking Trump's. If Simon Bridges challenges the Prime Minister's account, he will be ridiculed for looking angry.
Combating Ardern's inevitable declaration of success will require a deft touch National hasn't demonstrated since Key stood down.
• This updates an earlier version of this column with a new figure of state houses completed.
- Matthew Hooton is managing director of PR and corporate affairs firm Exceltium.