Here's the trick to being a minister in trouble - pray for another minister to take the heat off you.

Luckily for Labour, this hasn't been a problem in recent weeks.

Not a minister, but still a problem: Labour's general secretary Andrew Kirton was the first possum in headlights out of the blocks on the old 'whoops a daisy' front for the party

But he was saved by Shane Jones, who soon grabbed the headlines for all the wrong reasons, only to be rescued by Jenny Marcroft - who saw his PR disaster and quickly came up with one of her very own.


But she in turn needs to be grateful to Clare Curran, who not even 24 hours after that, had snatched the headlines back her way in spectacular fashion. This has been testing for the left-leaning media - Twitter (also so far to the left it almost falls over on its side) has been conspicuously silent - but someone who hasn't held back is old chum turned potential handbrake Helen Clark.

In a nod to Kanye West, (arguably the only person who should be allowed to get away with referring to themselves in the third person), Clark began musing as to "what Helen would do." Then answering that herself in a way that really could only point to the current leader as being a bit deficient in the old 'managing the peeps' department.

So what a time for Jacinda Ardern.

I thought at the time, when this government came into existence in a glittering shower of unicorns and rainbows, how unfortunate it was to come in on such a high - and with such a grand honeymoon, because there's really only one way to go from there.

Arguably it's better to start low and slow and build, get better incrementally, get some runs on the board, surpass expectation.

But what we've seen instead is a government with its training wheels on, skating through the first few months at high speed, riding roughshod over any rule in its path, wobbling right past us in a blaze of glory... only to land in a heap of wheels and bolts on the front page of every newspaper.

The PM, who by now is probably desperate to vanish and have her baby, must be hoping that in her absence, things get tidied up a bit.

Under Winston (or Helen, it's hard to know), we may be in for some more speed bumps, but what will be most revealing is what happens in the polls. That's when the rubber will truly hit the road.

Will the country simply put up with all this shambles, or will the Government take a hit because of it.

National can't afford to be too gloaty, because no matter what the Government's numbers this term, National's still woefully short of partners or parties to help it form any kind of government - so it still needs to work on finding some friends.

What Jacinda and co may be showing them is that choosing the right friends is key.

Meanwhile Clare Curran should be hoping a Russian spy pops up here in NZ between now and Easter, to get her off the front page. Either that, or Julie Anne Genter could perhaps visit some more schools to talk about old white guys.