As far as first weeks in the job go, Chris Luxon's actually had a tough start.
He's getting no honeymoon period. Some in the media have grilled him like his last name's Muller or Collins.
Instead of kicking off the job with a blank slate, he seems to have started with one blotted by the leaders before him. He's obviously going to have to first prove he's not just another failed National leader before he gets the benefit of the doubt.
Fortunately for him, what members of the media think and what voters think are not always the same.
Few outside the beltway probably care if a leader of less than 24 hours can correctly pick the living wage. Hardly anyone has last election term's abortion laws on their list of the top 10 priorities right now.
Even the criticism of him owning seven properties probably won't hurt much. Aspirational voters will likely respond with a "good on him" and the hope they too might one day attain similar success. The politics of envy often plays out worse for those throwing around the "rich prick" label than those being labelled with it, especially if punters haven't enough time to judge whether the person in question actually is a prick.
But, tough as it's been, it's also been a good week for him.
There is a discernible sense of relief among centre-right voters.
Luxon was spontaneously applauded by members of the public after an outdoors press conference in Tauranga. He was congratulated by punters during a walkabout in Auckland's viaduct. That's a marked contrast from the heckling the PM currently experiences in some public experiences.
Some of that response is a reaction to his key messages. They're catnip to centre-right votes: "our farmers are not villains", "good intentions don't pay the rent", "I believe in a New Zealand that while small in size is large in ambition".
Some of the public's response is driven by the expectation they have attached to the man anointed by Sir John Key.
And some of it is relief that National has a leader who looks the part. He's projected confidence in his press conferences and easily batted off criticism in his interviews. Neither necessarily come naturally to new leaders. Case in point, Todd Muller's wooden first press conference.
But he's also taken positions that present a clear contrast to some of the more frustrating positions held by the Government.
He's labelled the controversial iwi checkpoints as "nuts". Labour tolerates them. Worse, Labour's even passed legislation to allow the threatened Northland checkpoints this summer.
Luxon's called for Auckland to be moved to the green light setting. Labour plans to keep the city in red, despite Covid case numbers seemingly trending down, no pressure on hospitals and the city's vaccination rates being some of the highest in the world.
The timing is right for Luxon, which is why he's taken the job. Polls in recent weeks - even the Roy Morgan offering on Friday - show an ongoing decline in support for Labour. There's diminishing public respect for decisions that no longer make sense. Like barring returning Kiwis from coming home easily before Christmas. It makes no sense to have them wait until January 17.
If Luxon can make it through the next two weeks in Parliament's calendar, he'll send centre-right and frustrated swing voters off to their summer barbecues with something to talk about. And if the next set of polls show the expected bump up for the National Party that matches anywhere near the relief those voters are showing, he might yet get his (delayed) honeymoon period.