Political life for Jacinda Ardern has been a bed of red roses.

When she put her hand up for the Labour Party in 2008, she was given a high enough place on the list to get into Parliament, and even though she couldn't beat Nikki Kaye in subsequent elections in Auckland Central it didn't matter.

A series of events occurred this year that for her was luck rather than good political management.

A dejected David Shearer decided earlier this year to quit politics and the safe as houses Mt Albert seat was up for grabs. It turned Ardern from a loser into a sure-fire winner and within 24 hours an old hand, Annette King offered to stand aside for her in the deputy's job.


The Greens' Metiria Turei made a fatal error in mid-July, foolishly turning herself into a political tool and admitting to benefit fraud, and the writing was on the wall, not just for her, but for the hapless Andrew Little who knew he couldn't win the election and preyed on Ardern to put him out of his misery. It was of course a long shot but it paid off, thanks to another old timer in Winston Peters.

Her luck continued at the weekend when she flew into Sydney for brunch with Malcolm Turnbull.

It could have been a difficult meeting; some in his party blame the Labour Party here for the loss of his majority, given that his deputy Barnaby Joyce held dual New Zealand/Australian citizenship, simply because his dad was born here before he was even a twinkle in his old man's eye.

But that wasn't an issue in the Sydney talks yesterday and neither was the way the Ocker shockers treat Kiwis on their side of the Tasman compared with how we treat them here.

Under normal circumstances that would have been at the top of the agenda, with Ardern having to explain her campaign assurance that she'd be retaliating - the Aussies have had it their way for too long.

But all of that was overshadowed by the plight of the 600 Middle Eastern refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, who are there at the behest of the Aussies. They've been begging Ardern to show some humanity, to take them in and put an end to what is their appalling treatment.

Of course she renewed New Zealand's offer to take 150 of them, an offer that's been on the table for yonks but never taken up by the Aussies because they fear once they get a foot on New Zealand soil, they'd used it as a backdoor to getting into Australia.

Given their treatment by Australia, you'd have to wonder why they'd ever want to go there.

But Turnbull again declined the offer.

There is a solution to appease Turnbull's concerns though. Make the refugees retain the citizenship of their own country, which would allow them to travel to Australia, if they could bear going there, but not necessarily get citizenship.

So what could have been an awkward trip for Ardern, as luck would have it, became easier because of the refugees. She owes them!