NZ Herald political reporter Jason Walls travelled with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to Tuvalu for the Pacific Islands Forum and had a ring-side seat as Ardern dealt with a trans-Tasman storm in a (berry) tea cup. He chronicles the trip.
It's wheels up from Whenuapai Air Force base at 8am for Fiji on our way to Tuvalu.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern doesn't waste any time before emerging from first class to chat to journalists, a cup of green tea in hand.
We talk books.
She's reading Donut Economics. It must heavy going; it's the same book she told an audience in Melbourne she was reading nearly a month ago.
In Fiji we switch from the Air Force 757 to bench seats in a dark class-less hold of a Hercules C-130 where ear-plugs are essential.
Ardern uses the two and a half hour flight to bury herself in briefing papers – another mug in hand, this time it is berry tea.
After a bumpy landing and the usual formalities, Ardern is greeted by a dozen or so Tuvaluan school kids half-submerged in a long trough water.
They have been sitting there for about four days now, greeting the Pacific leaders to highlight the lack of action around climate change.
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As Ardern talks to them, another group of kids sing: "Save Tuvalu, save the world".
The pressure is certainly mounting on Ardern.
To make matters worse, the story-hungry Australian media pack catch Ardern's scent soon after she landed.
Their own Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, is yet to arrive so they descend on Ardern's first media stand-up.
Just as she opens her mouth, the roar of a jet engine overhead steals her thunder. Ardern pauses until the sound fades.
"We will just give Australia a moment," she says, gesturing at the Australian aircraft in the sky. "Showing off in their nice, shiny plane."
Ardern's moment of jet-envy may have been prompted by the recent breakdown of the RNZAF Boeing 737 while she was in Australia.
The New Zealand and other Pacific Island media laugh; not a sausage from the Aussies.
ScoMo (Morrison) has arrived by the time Ardern has met other Pacific leaders and there is a bit more buzz in the air.
Morrison is quick to don his Pacific attire – including smart leather sandals.
Ardern has abandoned the black puffer jacket she wore on the Hercules for a more sensible, light, black jacket.
The pair exchange the usual pre-meeting chat and obligatory sporting rivalry reference.
Their meeting is the most anticipated one at PIF.
Other Pacific leaders, such as the Prime Ministers of Fiji and Tuvalu, have been openly critical of Australia's use of coal and asked its Government to ditch it as a fuel source.
Ardern, however, does not want to get involved. She tells us it is a matter for the Australians and that she didn't apply any pressure on Morrison during their talks.
Another issue arises back home – news that the alleged Christchurch gunman sent a letter from his jail cell.
Before her last media stand up of the night, Ardern is whisked away by her press secretary to be briefed on it.
She is then led behind a building for a New Zealand only stand up; no Aussies this time.
Once done, it is time for dinner.
We arrive at the lodge to eat but the room is dark. The power is out and about 20 Kiwis are preparing to eat by torchlight.
One voice cuts through the darkness; Ardern.
She's sitting next to the former High Commissioner of Niue and Tokelau's Administrator, Ross Ardern – her dad.
She's not eating. She has one more dinner meeting before her day is done.
"It's part of my 20 hours a day job as a part-time Prime Minister," she says, a jab at National Leader Simon Bridges' criticism of her being out of the country last month.
Thursday: Leaders' day
Tuvalu's capital city of Funafuti comes to a standstill at a few minutes before 10am.
A motorcade of close to twenty of the PIF leaders' SUVs slowly winds its way through the narrow streets.
Leaders arrive; there is a generic opening statement before the all-important "family picture" of all the leaders together.
All 18 are wearing the same outfit – a coral-pink shirt with checked sleeves and a PIF logo on the left breast.
Then the meeting begins. We are told it would be done by late afternoon. Wrong.
The talks are still going 12 hours later.
Ardern is not the only one facing workplace challenges. There is a tapping on my shoe as I type. I look down to see a crab climbing my foot and fall off my chair.
Bigger problems are also brewing for Ardern – Australian media are reporting she 'blasted' Morrison during a stand-up.
One outlet says she issued Morrison with a "slap down."
The New Zealand media agree that the Australians' interpretation of her comments was off, quite off.
But it was too late; Australian talk show host Alan Jones has already called her a "clown" and said Morrison needed to "shove a sock down her throat".
The leaders emerge from talks at about 10:30 pm and clamber into their SUVs.
They don't speak to media for another forty minutes. Morrison is asked about Jones' comments: "way out of line," he says.
Ardern says she does not want to dignify them with a response.
But neither leader is any help when asked to comment on what the Pacific Leaders had agreed, saying it will have to wait until the text gets released the next day.
It is indeed released the next day – but only just. The document is sent to media at 12:23am.
It's an early start for leaders. The joint press conference, meant to be last night, was pushed out to 7am because of the prolonged meeting.
Morrison sits next to PIF chairman and Tuvalu's Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga to face questions.
Morrison sits somewhat awkwardly as Sopoaga speaks about the "frank" nature of the conversations last night.
"You are concerned about saving your economy… I'm concerned about saving my people in Tuvalu," the Tuvaluan leader says in the direction of Morrison, who is looking anywhere but back in Sopoaga's direction.
Ardern does her final media stand-up soon after. She and all other leaders have donned a new leaders' shirt, yellow with a PIF logo on the left breast.
Close to the end of the stand-up, she gets cut off by yet another plane roaring overhead.
"Must be the Australians, eh Prime Minister?" one of the Australian reporters quips.
"I think they're timing their flights for your press conference," says another.
"Well," Ardern says, "I won't take that personally".
Three hours later and it's wheels up again – New Zealand bound after a long and eventful couple of days.