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 predecessor, Andrew Little, who had almost three years before bowing out under the downward pressure of sagging polls.
Metiria Turei spent eight years as Green party co-leader preparing for a role in government that she was forced to give up after admitting welfare fraud.
John Key had two years and Bill English had 26 years in various roles.
The Labour leaders who made it to the top had considerably longer than Ardern: Norman Kirk 7 years, Helen Clark 6 years and David Lange 17 months between assuming the party's leadership and becoming prime minister.
Ardern's inexperience was initially part of the Cinderella Prime Minister story, the fresh face leading the country with kindness, the new-generation leader who does things differently, who is not hung up on being seen to be a tub-thumping strong leader.
For the most part it has not been a problem.
But in dealing with some of the issues vexing Māoridom, especially over the baby uplifts by Oranga Tamariki social workers and the Ihumātao land dispute, her lack of experience has been discomforting.
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It wasn't immediately apparent how discomforting until Winston Peters stood in for her at the post-cabinet press conference while she was in Tokelau.
He struck a nerve. He finally articulated the issues in a way that has been entirely missing from the debate, especially on the baby uplifts.
He didn't talk in slogans about colonisation and the state "stealing babies".
He raised the issue of violence against women and children, he stuck up for the integrity of social workers, he stuck up for a fledgling institution that has been a deemed a failure before it has barely got off the ground.
And finally he talked about babies that are being killed – three since May.
One can only pray that Oranga Tamariki social workers did not leave any of those babies in potentially dangerous situations against their better judgment because of the invective unleashed against them after the attempted Hastings uplift.
Peters did not dismiss the concerns of whānau or suggest that no problem exists.
But he added some perspective into a complex issue that cannot simply be solved by handing $1 billion to Whānau Ora and extending its mandate to Māori child welfare.
There is not enough transparency in Whānau Ora to have any confidence that is the answer.
On the Ihumātao dispute, Peters offered no false hope of an early resolution through the Government buying the land from Fletchers. He leaned heavily towards the legal rights of iwi Te Kawerau ā Maki in the dispute and keeping the Government out of it.
As a Māori raised in rural Northland, it is easier for him to criticise protagonists without being labelled a racist. He did not inflame the issue. It could not be construed in any shape or form as "Māori-bashing."
His views come from his life lived and political experience. He framed the problems through the lens of mainstream New Zealand.
National has failed to do that on either dispute. It is not that it has tried and failed. It has not tried.
Peters' intervention on Monday is the most value he has been to Jacinda Ardern since they formed a Government because she has been either unwilling or unable to frame the problems in a similar way.
And that goes back to her lack of experience. She is not sure-footed in dealing with Māori issues.
That much was evident when in her speech in Melbourne she talked about the Treaty of Waitangi and the aspirations of Māori in her "wellbeing approach".
"Here, once more, despite the Treaty of Waitangi partnership between Māori and Pākehā New Zealanders, despite several decades of settlements for land taken and promises betrayed, a legacy of inequality continues," she said in her speech to Australia New Zealand School of Government.
Of course the Treaty has never been a partnership between Māori and Pākehā but between Māori and the Crown and it is incredible it wasn't picked up before she delivered it.
The differences are huge. A partnership between "peoples" is a Pollyanna view of all races living together in harmony.
A partnership with the "Crown" is about the exercise of political power. In its 21st century manifestation it has moved well beyond historic Treaty settlements.
It is all about how much of the Government's power should be shared with iwi partners or devolved to them.
That is why the "baby uplifts" has become an issue of "who has control" and a political flashpoint for the cause of tino rangatiratanga.
Even if Ardern was well aware of all this, the fact Labour has won back all the Māori seats and has the largest Māori caucus ever means she and her Māori ministers have to tip-toe around these issues for fear of causing upset.
They stay silent when they hear descriptions of a pre-colonisation utopia that could be recreated for every Māori infant if only more power and money was devolved to Whānau Ora.
Winston Peters and his Māori colleague Shane Jones are often a thorn in the side of Labour, but this week they used their voice in a way that Labour needed and privately welcomed.
Their party may have been below the 5 per cent threshold in Monday's Colmar Brunton poll but had it been taken the next day, after Peters' contribution, it may well have been much higher.