With a karaoke machine in her Beehive office the new deputy prime minister will provide some contrast to the self-described boringness of Bill English.
Paula Bennett will be confirmed as deputy prime minister on Monday.
Part of her appeal is the balance she will provide to National's new leadership.
While new Prime Minister English is a Pakeha farmer from Southland who is now based in Wellington, Bennett is part-Maori and represents the rapidly-growing Upper Habour electorate in Auckland.
Bennett grew up near Taupo, where her father ran the village store by the lake in Kinloch and her mother Lee was a librarian.
Given a sewing machine for her 16th birthday Bennett traded it for a motorcycle and left home the same year, going on the domestic purposes benefit.
She had her first child, Ana, aged 17. Two years later Bennett bought her first home in Taupo for $56,000 with the help of a Housing Corporation grant.
In 1991, she lost her brother Mark in a diving accident on an oil rig in Indonesia, her best friend was killed in a motorcycle accident, she broke up with her long-term boyfriend, and was fired from her job as a receptionist at a hair salon.
After moving to Auckland for a fresh start, including work as a nurse aide at a rest home in Albany, Bennett went to university where a taste of student politics eventually led to the National Party.
Bennett won the seat of Waitakere at the second attempt in 2008.
Her "Westie" image was a feature of early media profiles, and she made headlines in 2009 after wading into a maul of teenagers outside West City in Henderson.
She was appointed as Social Development Minister in just her second term in Parliament.
The role saw her clash in the debating chamber with one of Labour's rising stars in Jacinda Ardern, including one exchange when Bennett told Ardern to "zip it, sweetie".
That combative streak has given way to a more positive style as Bennett made her second big leap as MP, with her promotion to two of the trickiest portfolios in Parliament - Social Housing and Climate Change.
Seen by colleagues as a strong communicator, Bennett's often bubbly demeanour contrasts to the more reserved style of English, who once described himself as "specialising in being boring".
The two have worked closely together, particularly since Bennett was made Associate Finance Minister. That has included English's "social investment" work, that cuts across major portfolios and aims to use a powerful government database to funnel money to initiatives that are proven to work.
Bennett is the most senior woman in Cabinet, and was strongly backed by John Key after her press secretary told a journalist about a police investigation into Te Puea Marae chair Hurimoana Dennis.
There was speculation she could challenge English along with Judith Collins and Jonathan Coleman, but she instead declared for the deputy role and has now won that over Transport Minister Simon Bridges.