Baby jokes featured prominently when Jacinda Ardern was warmly welcomed to Waitangi at the start of her first visit as Prime Minister today.
Ardern's first official duty in an unprecedented five-day visit to the nation's birthplace is as a guest of the Iwi Leaders Forum, an annual get-together of tribal leaders from around the country.
She was ushered into the Copthorne Hotel's Waitaha Conference Centre flanked by Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis, Labour's deputy leader, Tamaki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare and the rest of Labour's Maori caucus.
Also with them was new Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little.
Once inside the politicians were welcomed by Waitai Petera, of Te Aupouri, with Kelvin Davis responding.
Davis had the hall roaring with laughter when he told Petera he was worried someone would suggest te pepe a Jacinda (Jacinda's baby) take the traditional Ngapuhi name Sonny, a humorous dig at Ngapuhi leader Sonny Tau.
All northern tribes are represented at the forum.
The discussions are closed to the public but Ardern spoke to media outside the venue shortly.
There are about 150 iwi leaders at the forum this year and attendance was high as many were curious about the change of Government.
The weather disrupted Ardern's travel plans to Waitangi but Ardern made it in time after driving up from Auckland early this morning.
The Iwi Leaders Forum are the heads of the runanga [iwi governance bodies] around the country and regularly meet with the Government.
However, there were some question marks about how the Forum would work with the new Labour Government because some of the new ministers had questioned the role the leaders play.
The Iwi Leaders Forum had written to the Prime Minister in advance of the meeting and was to set out its priority areas. It was expected issues from water rights to the Kermadecs Ocean Sanctuary would be raised.
- Additional reporting: Peter de Graaf