Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has thanked the people of New Zealand, her Cabinet colleagues and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters for the "wonderful" gift of six weeks off.

Speaking before she sat down to her first Cabinet meeting yesterday since she left in June on parental leave, Ardern allowed media the opportunity to take a quick photo and she offered her thanks to her colleagues, and in particular Peters for stepping in as Acting Prime Minister in her absence.

"The last six weeks have been wonderful - not only because of the birth of our healthy daughter - but because we have been gifted by this Cabinet, by the people of New Zealand, this time together," Ardern said yesterday.

She offered her sincere thanks to Peters for guarding her time off.


"I, we, always knew exactly how that six weeks would go and it has. It's been a wonderful period for us and things have trucked on for this Government as we knew they would," Ardern told her Cabinet colleagues.

"So my sincere thanks. I don't know how I can return the favour. Perhaps by not asking you to assist at 4 o'clock in the morning. Anyone wish? Any takers?

"It's really, really nice to be back among you all, and I actually mean that."