Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson should dare to present themselves as the "Lange and Douglas" of their political generation and run the risk of Winston Peters' wrath by enhancing their power base before the general election?
Ardern has already proven herself as a gifted political communicator: In touch with the aspirations of her "youth adjacent" cohort – even if her Government is yet to deliver on them. Hope springs eternal – particularly with housing.
On the international stage she has cemented huge brand value in the wake of the Christchurch terrorist attack; and also for New Zealand.
But to ensure Labour has a compelling case to put to voters in this year's election requires Robertson to assert himself as Ardern's field marshal, not only spelling out the detail of a coherent economic agenda (and with it the micro policies that are part of it), but also ensuring sufficient runs are delivered by election time to ensure Labour gets another opportunity to "finish the journey".
Right now it is all looking decidedly flakey when it comes to the all important delivery of signature Government policies where polished execution has been missing in action - notably with housing.
On taking office, Ardern damned capitalism as a "blatant failure" pledging to increase the minimum wage, write child poverty reduction targets into law, and build thousands of affordable homes.
Peters chimed capitalism "must regain its responsible - its human face. That perception has influenced our negotiations."
That responsibility did not extend to introducing a capital gains tax.
In effect, capitalism remains in the box seat.
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For Ardern and Robertson to assert themselves as the key duo leading the Coalition Government carries with it risk.
Until this point Robertson has tended to play in the background, to the point where in September 2018, I wrote that Peters and Ardern were in danger of moving towards a co-prime ministership in all but name: "It won't be formally described that way. But the New Zealand First leader — who is officially Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister — is demonstrating that he is prepared to go against Ardern if she announces policies that are either not already announced in the Speech from the Throne or are not contained in the coalition and support agreements which Labour signed following last year's election".
This was proven to be the case as Peters secured many policy concessions in the next 16 months.
New Zealand First is now seen by many in the NZ senior business community as a pragmatic influence on its senior Coalition partner, using its weight to modify policies that the commercial community felt would bite too hard into their fortunes through tying them up in red tape and reweighting the balance between capital and labour to labour. Similar sentiments are mirrored within the rural community.
Robertson has been gradually increasing his profile over the last six months. But noticeably he has also increased his reach as he realises the real power finance ministers have to control the play.
On December 11, Robertson announced the Government would allocate an additional $12 billion towards infrastructure over the next five years. Some $6.8 billion would be for new transport infrastructure. Among the rest some $300m would go for regional investment opportunities and $200m for public estate decarbonisation.
Robertson came back early to work through the detail.
The Finance Minister will likely have to share the limelight with other ministers (including the Greens and NZ First leaders) when it is unveiled.
With Ardern and Robertson wanting to step up the tempo this is likely to be very soon.
But ensuring delivery must stop with Robertson.
As for Ardern, she made her entry back into the New Zealand political arena by joining last Saturday's Chinese New Year celebrations in Auckland to usher in the Year of the Rat.
Photographed side-by-side with Ambassador Wu Xi – both resplendent in red – Ardern later jested on Facebook she had once again shown her complete inability to look at the right camera.
The Chinese constituency is hugely important to both Labour and National.
National's Simon Bridges dropped in. Others, including the party's Botany candidate, and former Air New Zealand CEO Chris Luxon, were also out among the many politicians out glad-handing that day.