Jacinda Ardern smiled and laughed as she took the stage once again this week - but this time Elvis, Rocky Balboa and the Paper Bag Princess were to her left and right.

Ending a high-octane week in New Zealand politics, which saw one party leader resign and another rule herself out of a potential Cabinet role, Ardern confidently entertained approximately 200 parents at a Las Vegas-themed school fundraiser in Auckland tonight.

The evening's organiser, Point Chevalier School principal Stephen Lethbridge, said he'd texted Ardern earlier in the week, following the resignation of Andrew Little as Labour Party leader and the launch of Ardern into the top role.

He told her he'd understand if she couldn't make it, given this week's current affairs.


"No, I've ringfenced this evening," was the purported reply from Ardern, seemingly determined to carry out her promised quizmaster duties.

She may have also even enjoyed being the one to ask the questions tonight, rather than replying to insistent members of the press gallery about the admissions of Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei and any new policy plans.

"No, no, I couldn't possibly give that away because that would remove all of the excitement about coming along," Ardern laughed when the Herald asked if she would in fact reveal any new policies, particularly on the issue of Auckland's transport woes.

"We have certainly indicated that it's key infrastructure," she added.

"It's Auckland-focused, and you can probably speculate on the rest. It's something I feel strongly about.

"You're not going to have to stay the whole time are you?" She asked the Herald, to which the reply was, perhaps not.

"Good, you've got that out of the way so you can have the night off," she laughed before greeting parents and teachers dressed in all varieties of fancy dress that were akin to the Strip.

She carried on, smiled and laughed, accepted some selfie offers and took her evening's role seriously enough to ask for quiet when need be.


Only one slightly awkward moment arose when she asked the audience to identify a fictional cartoon character on the projector screen.

"Judith Collins," one man yelled, to which Ardern again smiled and laughed.