In her 11th day as leader of the Opposition, Jacinda Ardern passed an important political test - her first baby hold, with no tears shed.
The Labour leader joked that she was "tempting fate" as she held the child during a visit to Auckland's Selwyn Village retirement community in her home electorate of Mt Albert this morning.
Her comment was likely in reference to the furore last week sparked when TV presenters asked about her baby plans.
AM Show host Mark Richardson said it was imperative she answer, given she could be the next Prime Minister, to which Ardern replied: "It is a woman's decision about when they choose to have children, it should not predetermine whether or not they are given a job, or have job opportunities."
This morning, there were no tears from the baby she held - just a bemused look.
"I'll take a stunned look over a cry," she joked.
Ardern looked relaxed and conversed genuinely with every one of the 20 or so, multi-generational attendees. She moved smoothly through conversations, apologised for interrupting their quiet morning tea, and managed to avoid issue in the foreboding political minefield of baby-holding in front of news cameras.
After the mums and babies group at the village, she addressed another morning tea of about 30 residents. She spoke about re-establishing the "basics" of a decent Kiwi life, which she said had been eroded.
Ardern had received well with younger voters, but she has her work cut out for her among older Kiwis.
In a new Herald-ZB poll released today, Ardern trailed far behind her counterpart when over-60s were asked who they were most likely to trust to carry out promises.
Forty per cent named English and 21 per cent named Ardern. The gap was far narrower among all respondents - English's 31 per cent to Ardern's 26 per cent. In all age groups under 49 years old, more respondents trusted Ardern than English.
Ardern this morning admitted winning the trust of voters over the household name Bill English would be a challenge, especially with those who have seen his face in Parliament for 27 years.
"I absolutely expect some will be reserving their judgments. I want to earn the respect of voters."
She spoke of rebuilding the Kiwi basics that former Labour Prime Minister Norman Kirk spoke of: "Someone to love, somewhere to live, somewhere to work, and something to hope for," she said.
"We're worried we've seen an erosion of some of those basics. This election is about getting some of those basics right again."
Her mention of Kirk was a deft nod to the past, an attempt at strengthening a fond connection of popular Labour leaders for those in attendance.
Ardern said the diverse range of questions she fielded from the morning tea showed older voters were concerned about a range of issues - renter's rights, social enterprise and environmental issues.
"Our older New Zealanders are as worried about issues that are intergenerational as anyone is.
"But there are some things that are unique to them as well. One particular focus will be is healthcare, and housing issues as well.
"Those are issues I've had raised with me and that I've seen for myself as having a really detrimental effect on our older New Zealanders.
"I've got a lot to do in those six weeks but I'm up for that challenge. I'll be making sure I'll be as widely available as I can be and getting out as much I can and making sure people are hearing the vision we have."
Pat Blood, 87, a resident of Selwyn Village, said Ardern has a "great presence", but said winning votes would be tough in a country he thought wasn't so sure wanted a new government.
"People don't necessarily want a change, but it's good to see something different.
"It lifts the general atmosphere of the election."
Forty-seven per cent of respondents in the the Herald-ZB-Kantar TNS poll said Ardern should be PM in a coalition, and Winston Peters picked up 13 per cent. "Whoever has the largest party vote" for PM - most likely Labour - had a 28 per cent response rate.
The poll asked 1000 people.