For Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, 2019 really has been a game of two halves.
On the one hand, she has received international praise for the way she dealt with a number of disasters – notably the March 15 terror attacks and, more recently, the Whakaari/White Island eruption.
She was instrumental in bringing talk show host superstar Stephen Colbert to film in New Zealand and, at one point, was a contender for the Nobel Peace prize.
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But on the other hand, she has faced criticism domestically for failing to deliver in her so-called "year of delivery".
She was forced to back away from a capital gains tax after pressure from New Zealand First, light rail down Dominion Rd was pushed back and Labour's flagship election promise, KiwiBuild, collapsed.
Speaking to the Herald in her 9th floor Beehive office in Wellington, Ardern admitted there have been some "speed-wobbles" this year – specifically when it comes to KiwiBuild.
Housing was one of Labour's key election pillars in 2017, with its KiwiBuild policy at the heart of that approach.
Ardern was confident in the policy when first elected – "we will build 100,000 KiwiBuild homes in 10 years" she promised multiple times.
"Would I have liked KiwiBuild to be faster? Absolutely."
But she pointed out that the Government had made a "huge" amount of progress in other housing-related areas.
"I don't think we should forget the foreign buyer ban and the fact that we have had an increase in first home buyers now in the market in Auckland."
She also talked up the Government's moves in the rental market.
"We campaigned on housing because we had a crisis and we are doing a huge amount of work to turn that around – I am proud of that."
And she said the Government still has more work to do, when it comes to housing.
"So long as there are people who do not have a warm, dry home it will not be enough and we will keep going," she said.
Political commentator Thomas Pryor said on the domestic front, Ardern has faced a few issues this year.
"The challenge for her, and what she will have to address next year, is just that area of competency around delivery of policy and making sure the reality matches up to the rhetoric."
He said that disconnect had been an issue for the Government this year, citing KiwiBuild as the main example.
But, for the moment he said that was manageable.
"But if we see more of that going into election year, I think that there is a real risk that this could become a real problem for the Government."
But he said that looking at 2019 as a whole Ardern had done "pretty well" and was still "by far" the Government's greatest asset.
Although the most recent Colmar Brunton poll put National ahead of Labour, Ardern was still well ahead of National leader Simon Bridges when it comes to preferred Prime Minister.
And Ardern is not just popular in New Zealand – in 2019 she made waves on the world stage.
There would be very few who would criticise Ardern's response to the March 15 terror attack.
In fact, there was a laundry list of world leaders and celebrities who praised the Prime Minister for her leadership after what Ardern described as "New Zealand's darkest day".
Oprah Winfrey told the UN that she had "never seen such leadership".
"Jacinda Ardern projected peace and goodness, and the Arab world projected it right back for all of us to take in," Winfrey said, "and suddenly we saw that the other didn't seem that much different from us."
Elton John said Ardern was "one of the few politicians that I respect and love" and Fortune magazine named her the world's second greatest leader.
That list was topped by Bill and Melinda Gates.
Canterbury University politics professor Bronwyn Hayward said that Ardern put New Zealand on the map for many people around the world this year.
"It's been the most significant profile that a New Zealand leader has ever had, which is remarkable given both Helen Clark and John Key have taken major positions on the world's stage in recent history."
In fact, Hayward said Ardern had "knocked it out of the park" this year.
One factor that has helped Ardern to stand out, according to Hayward, was the fact she occupied quite a "lonely, but significant place in international politics".
"Not only is she one of the only women, and young women at that, in leadership, but she is also a progressive in her politics."
That, Hayward said, has made her quite significant at a time when more and more populist figures – usually older men – are becoming more dominant.
She also praised Ardern's response to March 15.
"What caught the attention of the world was the scale of the atrocity and the fact that it came out of a normally peaceful and fairly benign political environment."
Because of that, the eyes of the world were on New Zealand, and Ardern demonstrated excellent leadership, Hayward said.
Ardern's decision to never speak the name of the March 15 terrorist also won her international acclaim.
"He sought many things from his act of terror, but one was notoriety. And that is why you will never hear me mention his name," she told Parliament in the days after the attack.
Speaking to the Associated Press, she said she stood by this decision.
"If someone's motivated by infamy, then you deprive them of it," she said.
Earlier this year, Ardern branded 2019 the "year of delivery" – so what will 2020 be?
"Election year," she told the Herald.
"I'll be seeking that extra three years to keep going."
But she said there was still a fair bit of time between now and the election – likely to be in September or October – and much to do.
She freely admits this – "we are still the Government and have [a number of] months where we will need to keep governing".
That would involve the roll-out of some of the Government's plans.
"That's housing, mental health reforms and education reforms.
"We need to keep on with that programme. We have made huge progress, but there is a lot more to do."
One of the biggest, if not the biggest, centre-pieces of 2020 for her Government will undoubtedly be the Budget.
In 2018, her Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the Government's first term budgets would be a transformational "trilogy".
"This is the foundational Budget," he said of Budget 2018 at the time.
"2019...will be what we call the wellbeing Budget, and the Budget in 2020 will be what takes us through that transformational process around the economy as well."
Ardern remained committed to this, but would give little away about what to expect.
She did, however, made a reference to New Zealand's infrastructure deficit and the need for investment.
"We do have an infrastructure deficit in New Zealand; we have incredibly low-interest rates for borrowing and low debt – so now is the time for us to continue rebuilding."