Jacinda Ardern had a birthday just before she left for Tokelau last weekend and another just as she returned.

She turned 39 on Friday last week, the day she talked about brokering a truce over Ihumātao, and Thursday this week was the second anniversary of her ascension as Labour leader.

Those facts underlie her leadership. A young woman with no experience in leading a political party, no experience of having been a minister, is suddenly catapulted to the top of government after eight weeks.


Most political leaders get to prepare for government, if not high office, such as her