The PM's decision on a pay cut for ministers won't make a jot of difference to the Covid-19 handling, and was the least important decision the PM had to make - but also an easy and politically necessary one.
There will be a chorus of the world's smallest violins playing at the news the Government ministers and government department chief executives will suffer a 20 per cent pay cut for the next six months.
Politicians have long suffered from the public perception they are overpaid.
Most are well paid, compared to the average Joe. The PM's pay cut of about $47,000 for the six-month period is more than the annual wage of someone on the minimum wage.
She will still get $424,000 for the year.
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters – who has spent the lockdown fishing and communing with Duke the horse in between signing off on special flights to bring New Zealanders home – will lose about $33,000.
I'm fishing he's mowing the front lawn... pic.twitter.com/uvLQvNy0EQ— Winston Peters (@winstonpeters) April 12, 2020
(Yes, Winston, I'm sure you are like that duck with your feet pedalling furiously beneath the water).
The Prime Minister herself acknowledged the move was more about gesture than substance, saying it would do little to actually help the Government's books.
Despite the clamour of the likes of Act leader David Seymour about being frugal with the taxpayers' dollar, the "savings" of $2.4 million are miniscule in the context of the $50 billion or so the Government has started spending on the Covid-19 response.
Rather, Ardern said, it was about leadership. It is also about politics.
As workers in the private sector lost jobs, took unpaid leave, or took pay cuts to keep their jobs, it would be unconscionable not to have taken such a step.
She could hardly be blind to their plight. When politicians are asking others to make sacrifices, they need to be seen to be doing the same.
It will not have escaped her notice that a fortnight earlier, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison was hammered for scotching the idea of politicians taking pay cuts.
While Morrison had requested a pay freeze, he ruled out cuts, saying MPs salaries were a tiny proportion of the Federal Budget.
Within an hour of Ardern's announcement, Morrison again ruled it out
Ardern also acknowledged that unlike many of those workers, the pay cut will not put Ardern nor any of the ministers anywhere near the breadline.
But one thing those politicians can identify with is job security – they face a "restructuring" every three years.
It is called the general election, when the voters get to decide who gets made redundant and who does not. That restructuring is due this year – and showing a little political good sense and solidarity now will not hurt.