Momentum is what Jacinda Ardern wanted at the start of election year and it looks as though she has got it.
With the naming of the election date today and the mega infrastructure projects to be unveiled tomorrow, she is using her greatest electoral weapon, incumbency.
Oppositions speculate, Governments do.
There is plenty of time and cheap money for the Government to do a lot more, although it will be hard to match the magnitude of the projects revealed this week.
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Ardern said at her press conference today she would be governing right up to election day, which rather makes a virtue out of reality.
Ardern and National's Simon Bridges have two very different missions as they head into the fight over the next eight months.
Ardern not only has to govern because its her job, she has to do it better than before because she has had a patchy record.
Her first year in office was, to put it kindly, the year of planning with the help of a review or two.
Her second year was seen as the year of non-delivery because of the spectacular failure of Kiwibuild goals.
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Other big policies have been delivered, no question, but the drawn-out failure of a flagship housing policy is tattooed on her second year.
Her third year has to be her best and the infrastructure spend is a hell of a way to begin.
Simon Bridges starts the year with respectability in leading what is still the most popular party in New Zealand. Protecting that advantage will be paramount to his decisions.
He has already done a reasonable job of chipping away at the happily-ever-after ending since New Zealand First leader Winston Peters chose Ardern to become Prime Minister in 2017.
But he has to run the campaign of his life because it will almost certainly be his last if National doesn't win.
His challenge will be to show perspective and discernment, not to slam every move the Government makes. That simply kills credibility.
The slowing global economy has had its impact on New Zealand's economy and ensured that the Government's $12 billion infrastructure boost has almost universal support in principle even before the projects have been revealed.
It is not an election promise. It is a funded series of commitments that will set up parts of New Zealand well - not to mention setting up Ardern nicely too.
FIVE DEFINING ISSUES
Jacinda Ardern will have had three years as Prime Minister, Simon Bridges will be left to the imagination. Has she been strong, inspirational, or out of her depth?
The economy: Has the economic slowdown been because of Govt policy or in spite of it. Will the infrastructure plans be enough and in time?
Cost of Living: Household costs have risen sharply, including housing and rental costs, but so have wages. Do people feel better off or worse off?
Heartland: The battle in provincial NZ will centre on the effects of environmental and climate-change policy. Has the Govt moved too far or not been ambitious enough?
Referendums: Legalising voluntary euthanasia for the terminally ill and legalising recreational cannabis are not party issues but debates on the two referendum questions could cross over. Will turnout and party vote be affected by the referendums?
- Audrey Young