Much praise has rightly been bestowed on the alacrity with which National and its partner parties formed the new Government.
Fears of a protracted process, the product of extended horse-trading, proved groundless as John Key briskly put together confidence and supply agreements with Act, the Maori Party and United Future.
Each of the minor parties chalked up a limited number of policy concessions, as talks traversed a wide spectrum, including the Maori seats, tougher sentencing of repeat violent offenders and a new Big Game Hunting Council.
Policy was not all that was on the agenda, however. The agreements contain provisions that confirm the "scratch my back" spirit remains alive and well in politics.
Probably the most blatant example is the presence of an Act representative on the Cabinet committee on honours and appointments. Previously, Act has been quick to criticise any hint of honours being awarded for deeds that had more to do with contribution to a political party than services to the community.
It was particularly ready to draw a link between the knighting of Roger Bhatnagar and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, a friend of the millionaire businessman. That led finally to a statement by Sir Roger that he had never donated money to Mr Peters or NZ First, only to "National, Labour and Rodney Hide".
Such people-in-glasshouses circumstances would, it might be thought, have caused Act to avoid any hint that it would seek to influence the awarding of honours or appointment to government bodies. Yet the very requirement that it have a representative on the Cabinet committee spells out exactly that ambition.
The anti-sleaze party covets this avenue of reward. Former National MP Simon Upton has suggested this type of shallow politicking could best be avoided by placing the awarding of honours in the hands of the Governor-General. The time has surely come.
Act's self-interest does not stop there. It campaigned on the need for stricter discipline in public sector spending. Its agreement stipulates, however, that "to make a substantive contribution to the Government's programme, it will have adequate access to funding, in a bulk form or for specific projects, to enable it to commission contract research or other consultancy assistance".
The turning on and off of that money tap will be at the behest of a "Leadership Council" comprising the leaders of Act and National. With the oversight only of a partner in government, Act will have money to promote its own growth and development.
The Maori Party has also gained from pleading a special case. Its agreement dictates that MPs in all Maori electorates and other electorates exceeding 20,000 sq km in area will get an extra electorate-based staff member. This is said to be a response to "the challenges of servicing the disproportionately large size of the Maori electorates".
In many cases, although not Pita Sharples' Tamaki Makaurau seat in urban Auckland, that challenge may exist, but this smacks of a party holding five of the seven Maori seats seeking to entrench its position.
Given the sensitive nature of the Maori seats, it might, once again, have been expected that the Maori Party would exercise caution. At the very least, this issue should have been handled by the cross-party Parliamentary Service Commission.
But politics is about far more than the advancement of policy. It is also, as Helen Clark's government sometimes crudely demonstrated, about prolonging a grip on power by advancing party interests. Whatever the politicians' fine words, this determination seems never far from the surface. Now, amid the flowering of John Key's Government, it has introduced a few weeds.