Labour Day is a fitting time to reflect on the eventual result of this year's general election.

Of course, the devil will be in the detail of the coalition agreement between Labour, NZ First and the Green Party. The concessions made by Labour to NZ First will as much shape this 52nd Parliament, if not more so, as the policies outlined during the campaign.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has said the party secured policies to advance economic positions and he wants to address poverty. More details of the support agreements are expected to be released this week.

In the meantime, the Green Party in particular has done remarkably well given election preparations appeared to involve every self-destructive manouevre from the political playbook. By the time Metiria Turei ruled herself out of contention for any ministerial position it would have seemed fantastical to predict the Greens would end up in a confidence and supply role in a Labour-led government with three ministerial positions outside Cabinet, and one undersecretary role.


Concerns over a so-called "three-headed beast" have quickly emerged. How the three parties are managed will, of course, be make or break for this administration.

Much of the attention in mulling the outcomes of this election centres around our 40th Prime Minister. Everything about Jacinda Ardern will be scrunitised. This is not inappropriate. As Prime Minister-elect, Ardern becomes the face this country presents to the world. How the wider global community perceives a nation is often heavily influenced by their leader.

Yes, Ardern becomes only our third female Prime Minister, but already it seems to matter so very little, just 20 years since Jenny Shipley broke the gender deadlock. At a time when women appear increasingly marginalised by the imbalance of power - painfully revealed in the #metoo trend of disclosures - it is somewhat reassuring New Zealand women can assume office with barely an eyebrow raised. Indeed, we once again have women in our leading roles in our top tier of Prime Minister, Governor General and Chief Justice - reigned over by a female monarch.

Ardern, at 37 years and 85 days old, isn't the youngest leader of New Zealand, though only just. Edward Stafford was 37 years and 40 days old when he became Premier in 1856. But does age carry such significance? Does the fact David Lange was 41 when he first became Prime Minister hold any bearing on his 1839 days in office? Is Walter Nash remembered for his Black Budget, or for taking office at age 75?

Whether Ardern continues her dream run - or it is dashed on the convolutions of too many coalition compromises - remains to be seen. There are many questions, but apart from the most partisan amongst us, the nation seems to be wishing her well. And that's not too bad a place to start.