Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has Winston Peters to thank for her date with United States President Donald Trump next week in New York - if thanks is the right word.
Ardern's description of her relationship with Trump as "absolutely fine" is perhaps the faintest of praise ever levelled at a US President by a New Zealand leader.
Even Helen Clark was nice about George W. Bush.
But while Ardern, the young feminist, has maintained a relationship unembellished by the pretence of any great friendship with Trump's America, Peters has been working assiduously on the US relationship.
He has had two trips to Washington, in December last year and July this year, building on a relationship he formed with his official equivalent, Vice-President Mike Pence at Apec, last November, to push for a free trade agreement with the US.
He delivered two important speeches: the first was in December setting out the historical bonds of love between the two countries and imploring the US to return to the Pacific to counter China's influence - not quite but almost as bluntly as that.
The second speech was in July and he set out a compelling strategic imperative for the United States to start lifting its trade game in the Asia Pacific region.
Any progress on the trade front at next week's Trump meeting will be thanks to Peters - again, if thanks is the right word.
Given the current belligerent stance by the US on trade, there's not exactly a long queue of countries lining up for a free trade deal with the Americans.
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Peters may yet gain credit for getting the US to the negotiating table for free trade talks.
But Peters also could be long gone before any deal is done to the satisfaction of the New Zealand Government - his departure is not imminent, it's just that trade negotiations are never fast.
Peters has nurtured the United States relationship while Ardern has concentrated on repairing the one with China.
Ardern has not been unprofessional in her dealings with Trump but she has been unusual in that she has not clamoured for a White House visit, or quietly sought one.
Nor did she seek the bilateral meeting with Trump in New York.
That does not mean she won't be invited to the White House next year during their brief encounter in New York next week.
If the State Department is functioning properly, it will have advised Trump that it would be usual to host the New Zealand Prime Minister once a term, if for no other reason than the fact New Zealand is a member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance and a very, very good friend - even if it doesn't always show it.