The Acting Prime Minister of New Zealand reckons he'll get a bit of stick from his cousins in Tai Tokerau when he goes home next.

Rt. Hon. Kelvin Davis, Tai Tokerau MP and also Labour Party Deputy Leader, admitted there had been a very short time between being sworn into the Government on Tuesday and becoming the acting Prime Minister on Thursday.

"Everything did happen very quickly," Davis said.

He is the first Maori politician elected in the Tai Tokerau seat to gain such a high position in the Government.

Winston Peters and Paula Bennett are the other two Maori to have had acting PM roles but neither held Maori or Northland seats at the time.


"There is some mana attached to it, obviously. I'm proud to be in this position, for my people as well," Davis said.

"But I'd like to see the day when it is just the norm for Maori to be in this position or any other role."

Davis is Minister for Crown/Maori Relations, Corrections and Tourism, and Associate Minister of Education, responsible for Maori education.

He said he had a briefing by Parliamentary Services about the rules and requirements of the caretaker Prime Minister job and knew he could rely on support from his colleagues.

"I'll be glad when Jacinda gets back but, no, I'm not really nervous."

Davis is acting PM because PM Jacinda Ardern and deputy Peters are both attending the Apec (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) Leaders Meeting in Vietnam.