Everyone has people they depend on to keep them going, for moral support, expert advice, to bounce ideas off or just someone to talk to when the going gets tough. Political editor Audrey Young reveals the special crew that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern turns to most often.
Jacinda Ardern has an army of public servants on whom she can depend for mountains of advice on any issue that suddenly erupts in the running of Government.
But there is a much smaller platoon of close confidants on whom she relies.
This is a group of about a dozen close friends, political colleagues, political operatives and relatives without whom she simply would not be able to do her job.
It is wider than a kitchen cabinet, the term given to an informal group of MPs a leader meets with regularly. That group comprises Kelvin Davis, Grant Robertson, Chris Hipkins, Megan Woods and Phil Twyford.
But it is a group of individuals in whom Ardern has complete trust. She can turn to for help with baby care, or to unload about a colleague who is giving her grief, chew the fat over some policy ideas, or to decide what functions to attend and what to wear.
Most of her confidants are friends and political associates she knew from Young Labour, her days working in the Beehive or friendships tested under the strains of Opposition.
One of those is Raj Nahna, who will become her chief of staff on June 7, replacing Mike Munro after a health scare.
Munro told Beehive staff in a letter last week that while he had been given the all clear, he did not think he could give the job 100 per cent while getting himself right.
The most important relatives of Ardern, besides partner Clarke Gayford and their daughter Neve, are the two grandmothers, Ardern's mother Laurell, and Gayford's mother, Peri Gayford. Ross Ardern and Tony Gayford take their duties as grandfathers seriously but the grandmothers are such dedicated childminders that the first couple have been able to avoid hiring a nanny.
Between them they spend a lot of their spare time to helping Ardern and Gayford take care of Neve, often travelling with Ardern and the baby to Wellington if Gayford has his own work commitments, as host of a television fishing show, to make sure the baby is not far from Ardern.
Others in Ardern's inner circle:
One of Ardern's closest confidants and valuable staffers in Auckland is Barbara Ward, a long-time Labour activist.
Ward works in Ardern's electorate office and worked with her in Auckland Central, well before the MP won the Mt Albert byelection in 2017 and became Prime Minister later that year.
Ward is said to give her advice on all manner of issues including fashion and style, but is particularly helpful in terms of the arts scene in Auckland given that Ardern is Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage.
Ward was the inspiration of the classic New Zealand love song "Not Given Lightly" written by her former partner Chris Knox, before his major stroke in 2009.
She is now the partner of Economic Development and Trade Minister David Parker.
It is not unusual for party activists to be employed in electorate offices although there are strict rules about conducting their voluntary party activities in their own time.
Julia Haydon Carr
Julia Haydon Carr is an old friend and confidant of Ardern's from their days of activism together in Young Labour.
They shared a special interest in children's health and poverty issues before both became mothers.
A public health physician, until recently she was the health manager of KidsCan, a charity focusing on children living in hardship.
She works in the Prime Minister's Office occasionally, using her expertise on child poverty policy issues but is also a power of strength to the Prime Minister on a personal level as well.
Haydon Carr stood unsuccessfully for Labour in Tukituki in 2011, when she was working at the Hawkes Bay DHB.
A favourite among media and politicians alike for his mix of amiability and political acumen, Mike Munro has been Ardern's chief of staff since January 2017 but is stepping down next month.
He has had a couple of big health scares, which kept him from the first few months of Government and during the immediate aftermath of the Christchurch massacre.
He has been given the all-clear but told Beehive staff in a letter last week that he was still in recovery mode and needed to focus on getting well.
He is close to Grant Robertson and helped run his successful Wellington Central campaigns and was brought in to work on Ardern's nationwide campaign in August 2017.
He was also part of Labour's post-election team negotiating with New Zealand First.
His roots were in journalism. He spent six years as Helen Clark's chief press secretary and has worked in communications roles at Treasury and Todd Corporation and in partnership with his wife, Heather Church.
He wrote a family history, Road from Rosehall, in novel format about the journey of a Scots forebear to New Zealand which Helen Clark launched.
That official sitting with Jacinda Ardern in her meetings with the President of China, Xi Jinping, and Premier Li Keqiang was her deputy chief of staff, Raj Nahna.
He is due to step up to the top job on June 7 when Mike Munro leaves next month for health reasons.
Nahna worked as a communications and business development adviser at Chapman Tripp law firm for four years before leaving to work on Barack Obama's presidential campaign in 2008 and got the politics bug.
When he returned to New Zealand he was hired as a junior researcher in the Labour research unit in Opposition and worked his way up to director of operations.
He did not survive under David Cunliffe's leadership and moved to the New Zealand Racing Board as its Government relations manager.
When Labour returned to Government in 2017, he was snapped up again and hired to go into Ardern's office to help with the transition, working closely with Heather Simpson and Gordonjon Thompson. He eventually became deputy chief of staff to Mike Munro.
He was Ardern's acting chief of staff on March 15, the day of the Christchurch massacre, when Munro was on medical leave.
Nahna was born and raised in Te Kuiti by his Indian father and Irish mother. He became head boy at the local Te Kuiti High School and is known affectionately by Beehive staff as Rajamatazz.
Andrew Campbell has been Ardern's chief press secretary since May last year but has spent more time with the Green Party and working for the NZ Rugby Union than with Labour.
He is a former union official, having worked for Finsec as an organiser and NZEI on campaigns.
He took over as Ardern's chief press secretary from Mike Jaspers who had been an Andrew Little appointment in Opposition. It is rare for such appointments to be carried over. Most leaders want to pick their own close team.
Campbell was already a familiar figure around Parliament having worked in various roles in the Greens' parliamentary offices including communications director and chief of staff.
And he had strong established relationships with the Press Gallery.
Previously known unaffectionately as H2, the fearsome enforcer and chief of staff for Helen Clark (H1), Heather Simpson knows every corner of Government better than anybody except perhaps Wayne Eagleson who had the same job in John Key's Government.
Having returned to New Zealand after several years working for Clark in New York, Simpson was more than useful to have around when the Ardern Government and ministerial offices were being set up.
She still carries a wealth of knowledge that is sometimes tapped by Ardern when she is looking for no-nonsense advice.
In the meantime Simpson is conducting an eagerly awaited broad-based review into the health system.
As former Labour deputy leader, Annette King stepped aside after Ardern won the Mt Albert byelection in favour of Ardern's taking the No 2 position to modernise Labour's leadership team.
King proved such a support in that role and with a wealth of campaign experience she was invited to be Ardern's chaperone during the heat of the 2017 election campaign.
Both King and Ardern were (and still are) also close friends of Labour MP Darren Hughes during his political turmoil in 2011 and bonded through that period. Ardern later specialised in Children's policies, an area King had a special policy interest in as well.
Although King retired at the 2017 election, she was part of Labour's negotiations team, and carried out a few roles for the new Government in 2018 until taking up the post of High Commissioner to Australia.
They have maintained their relationship and regular contact although it has to be done with a bit more care, now that King is part of the diplomatic corps.
Gordonjon (GJ) Thompson was a press secretary for Helen Clark at the same time that Ardern worked for Clark, but their relationship was forged in Opposition when Ardern was a first-term MP.
Thompson had moved with Labour to Opposition in 2008, first as Phil Goff's chief press secretary and later his chief of staff.
He left to take up public relations roles with Fonterra and Sky City then set up his own PR company with David Lewis, another former press secretary to Helen Clark, and later Wayne Eagleson, the long-serving chief of staff to former Prime Minister John Key.
Thompson spent five months as Ardern's chief of staff in the early days of Government, helping with the transition to Government before deciding to return to Auckland to run Thompson Lewis.
Talbot is the chief executive officer of UMR, the company that has been Labour's pollster for many years.
He keeps Ardern updated on polling trends which go far deeper than the type of headline data on party vote and preferred Prime Minister that the public hears about and qualitative polling, also known as focus groups.
It is not unusual for them to speak several times a week working on ways to enhance Labour's policy development and message delivery.
They first got to know each other as Young Labour activists, he working for Pete Hodgson and Marian Hobbs, and she in the Beehive in the offices of Phil Goff then Helen Clark.
Talbot went on to work in the Labour Party HQ with Mike Williams and Mike Smith between 2005 and 2008.
After a stint working for the UK political activist group 38 Degrees, Talbot returned to New Zealand and worked for UMR before becoming Labour's campaign manager in 2014, when David Cunliffe was leader.
He returned to UMR after the campaign as chief executive officer. While its principals have deep associations with Labour, like National's pollsters Curia, they have professional integrity and have many non-partisan clients.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Ardern have a political partnership that began almost 20 years ago and has strengthened with time.
They often speak several times a day and he is her closest political confidant on Government and party issues.
He was her friend and mentor as young political advisers in the Helen Clark government although Robertson was her senior in age in political experience.
She backed both his tilts at the Labour leadership, and stood on his ticket as would-be deputy in 2014, when he narrowly lost to union-backed candidate Andrew Little.
The seniority with Robertson reversed when she became leader in August 2017 and Prime Minister three months later, but they have maintained a political partnership and remain in sympatico on almost all policy, including the decision for Labour to stop campaigning for a capital gains tax.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins started his friendship with Ardern when both were young operatives and advisers in the Beehive under the Helen Clark government. Hipkins worked for Trevor Mallard who was Education Minister at the time.
Ardern has entrusted him some important portfolios that give him oversight of every ministerial office as Ministerial Services minister and every government department as State Services Minister, as well as Education Minister.
He is also Leader of House, overseeing the smooth running of the Government's legislative agenda. Ardern forgave early mistakes which saw a mini-crisis on the floor of the House on the first sitting day and the loss of a Government majority on several select committees.
Megan Woods is the third of the triumvirate of Ardern's most trusted ministers.
Woods did not become an MP until 2011, when her mentor Jim Anderton retired from Wigram, and she and Ardern became friends.
Woods is considered principled, bright, trustworthy and a safe pair of hands in a cabinet which is not over-endowed in that respect. She is from the left of the party.
In normal events she is a valued confidant of Ardern's but even more so in the immediate aftermath of the Christchurch shooting because of her established links to the Muslim community in Christchurch.