Acting Prime Minister Paula Bennett celebrated her first ever stint filling Prime Minister John Key's shoes by buying a new pair for herself.

Bennett is fifth ranked minister, but the absence overseas of Key, Bill English, Gerry Brownlee and Steven Joyce above her have put her in the rare position of acting Prime Minister.

She marked the occasion with a new pair of shoes.

Her first duty was advising the Governor General to grant Royal assent to new legislation.


She was also to attend a ceremony for the Governor General to receive the credentials of new ambassadors and High Commissioners to New Zealand.

"It's 9.25 and all is calm in the country. I've landed in the capital without incident so you can all rest easy, and quite frankly I'm finding the job quite easy so far.

I'm going for a steady hand."

Asked if she was worried people would see it as a sign she had more permanent aspirations for the job she said "no more or less than the three above me that are often acting Prime Minister."

She said it was noteworthy primarily because it was so rare that the fifth ranked minister stood in for Key.

Bennett said the role was not going to her head, but her friends and family were another matter.

"I have had requests. Someone wants me to give them an island. I think that's a stretch too far. My husband wants to be referred to all day as 'the First Bloke.'"

The job did entitle her to the services of the Diplomatic Protection Squad, but she had decided it was unnecessary.

"I did ask [Key] if I could take over Premier House for the day and he said 'go for it.' So that was kind. But I don't plan to."

She had started the day with a joke attempt at flexing her muscle, sending a friend a photo of herself at the Air NZ counter pretending to order herself a private jet.

Bennett's time at the top will end tomorrow morning after Brownlee returns from Europe.