Having experienced international travel as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will now understand what it's like to be the rock star that John Key was often described as.

Adoring fans at home are one thing but the luxury and ease of travel must blow her mind, particularly after just a few weeks in the job.

Step aboard the RNZAF 757 jet and the trials of travel are for others to worry about, from her passport to her bag check. Her luggage is in her hotel room usually before she is and someone else looks after all the paperwork.

It's a lifestyle without parallel. When the plane touches down on the tarmac the red carpet's rolled down the stairs and up to the door of her waiting limo. Dance troops and bands herald her arrival, even if most those performing are unaware of who she is or where she's from, although the kiwi on the side of the plane, could give them a clue, even if some do pick it as a rodent.


Being a down on the farm type of gal Ardern isn't given to airs and graces, she'll stop and talk to the performers and indeed to almost anyone who gives her the time of day.

Compare that with her fellow Generation Xer, Canada's Justin Trudeau, at the East Asia Summit she's currently attending in Manila.

In advance of their first formal one on one meeting, in the same hotel where John Key sauntered through the foyer in a dressing gown a few years back, Trudeau strutted, like a lone peacock flexing his feathers, with his security detail and hangers on fore and aft.

He looked around, clearly craving recognition.

By contrast Ardern arrived a short time later flanked by her detail but she was at least talking to them and not scanning the expansive foyer hoping someone would notice.

One of the first things she did as she sat down was to invite Trudeau to New Zealand so we can all see for ourselves the look-at-me politician who now does what his daddy Pierre used to do.

At this stage Ardern seems unaffected by the trappings of power.

Her dealings with the travelling media are relentlessly positive with the answer to many questions beginning with "absolutely" when she means anything but.

Ardern's absolute concern for the long suffering refugees on Manus Island though is genuine, to the point of becoming irritating for the Aussie PM Malcolm Turnbull who'd no doubt prefer to be dealing with his old money market mate Key.

And besides Turnbull's got more important things on his plate, like having dinner last night with The Don with a formal trilateral with Trump and the Japanese Prime Minister scheduled today.

Ardern will have to make do today with the Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte, to whom most would prefer to give a wide berth.

But what do you say to a man who's presided over the deaths of more than 12,000 of his citizens since coming to power in June last year, most of them murdered by vigilantes in the name ridding the country of drug peddlers?

Let's hope an invitation to this country isn't forthcoming.