"She cares an awful lot about international reputation, but doesn't seem to care about New Zealand".
That's been a constant refrain about Jacinda Ardern from people who would never consider voting for Labour but want you to know their opinion anyway.
The Prime Minister is considered "god-tier" overseas, with many people in other Western democracies frequently crying out for her to go and lead their countries instead of whatever dismal dude they currently have.
The recent fires in Australia and Scott Morrison's utterly horrendous handling of them has just served to magnify what a good leader can do for a country in times of crisis.
It's not just a leader's role to make policy decisions, they also need to inspire, encourage, empathise and inform. Morrison has failed at just about every juncture in responding to Australia's fires, and aided and abetted by a Murdoch-owned and climate change denying media, there's been an almost total refusal to accept that Australia's Government's refusal to do pretty much anything about climate change may be at least partially responsible for the severity and length of the fire season in Australia.
When the Christchurch terrorist attack happened, Ardern and her Government were swift in announcing that there would be action on what happened, including law changes around gun ownership and an inquiry into how our intelligence agencies missed this radicalised man and the ease with which he was able to get his hands on weaponry.
Morrison meanwhile has toured Australia, physically forcing people to shake his hand, making terrible policy decisions then backtracking in a few days, and most recently forgetting that two men lost their lives on Kangaroo Island when he told the devastated citizens there that at least there had been no fatalities.
Foreign policy is shaping up to be a surprisingly important part of this year's election and so people will have to ask themselves when voting what sort of New Zealand they want facing the rest of the world.
We've seen a world already beset by horrendous events in just the past two months. From the fires in Australia, to the flooding in Indonesia, the murder of an Iranian cabinet member, to the shooting down of a passenger plane by the Iranian military. The flooding and fires are a portent of things to come as climate related disasters will become more common.
While the National party begrudgingly came to the party on the Zero Carbon Bill, its climate change record while in Government was appalling, and there hasn't been anything from Simon Bridges to suggest that there would be an improvement if he was to form the next government after the election.
David Seymour and the ACT party are also outrageously poor on climate policy with both National and ACT taking a "the market will decide" approach to how we treat climate change. Except the market did decide, and it decided to do nothing. And now we're facing a world of disaster and horrors.
On foreign policy, the National Party has been pretty clear that it's taken a "where she goes, we go; where she stands, we stand" stance. Except, unlike Michael Joseph Savage talking about Britain at the start of World War II, the "she" there is Donald Trump.
Since Trump took the unilateral decision to assassinate Qassim Suleimani, and Iran's mild retaliation of firing rockets into military bases in Iraq, National has made it clear that it doesn't believe New Zealand's troops based in Iraq should be moved.
Whether we want to walk lockstep with the United States under a reckless and impetuous President Trump as he causes international incident after international incident, even while seeming to pursue a policy of Splendid Isolation, is up to voters. But it would seem that a badge of United States solidarity is not likely to bring safety, nor is it likely to help us in any meaningful way, be it on trade, climate policy or favourable treatment.
Contradicting their America First mindset, there was the baffling Chinese trip that Bridges took. The National Party rebuffed the assistance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in organising the trip and Jian Yang, who has been under scrutiny since it was revealed he trained Chinese spies and worked for Chinese military intelligence for 15 years, organised the whole thing.
Bridges was roundly criticised for meeting with the head of China's secret police and for a bizarrely obsequious interview on Chinese state media where he did nothing but sing the praises of the Communist Party of China.
This is not to say that the current lot have nailed foreign policy. We still seem confused as to whether we are in the Asian geographical block, or if we want to be seen as part of the white Five Eyes network. Are we for open trade? Do we want reduced immigration? These outward facing questions need to be answered before the next election.
The Prime Minister's passion for a good international reputation may prove to be one of her best achievements of her first term. Certainly Islamic countries are in awe of her response to Christchurch. When I was in London during the Cricket World Cup last year, we met the Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan. He loved New Zealand for two reasons: number one, we had just beaten India in the Cricket World Cup semifinal; and number two was Ardern.
So to all those who bang on about how much time the Prime Minister spends garnishing New Zealand's international reputation and try to imply it's a negative, I think you have it completely wrong. It may be the best thing that's happened to us in a long time.