Candles tomorrow for this government. One year ago tomorrow, it all began.

The photo they released last week marking the one-year anniversary of the announcement of the coalition as opposed to the commencement of the coalition, is worth looking up if you missed it.

I assume they released it to give insight into the joy of victory, although sadly all I saw was a picture of a couple of key players, ie Jacinda Adern and Grant Robertson, with nothing else in their lives at that moment than the cold, hard reality that all that they count as important was in the hands of a bloke who managed to gather up just 7 per cent of the vote.


Their faces said it all, this moment was the centre of their universe, all they held dear, and they had no control over it whatsoever.

MMP had cast them out as bystanders to a minor organisation that through the foibles of the system puts all the power in the wrong hands.

Anyway, it's worth a look if for no other reason than to remind us that for all you might want to argue is good about MMP, that moment in time certainly wasn't one of them.

But, and here's the good news, one year in and this current arrangement surely has the right to a glass of something celebratory.

It is, as they've reminded us many times, our first truly MMP government, and with it came the inherent risks of carnage, none of which has happened.

The three-headed monster the previous government warned us of, has been nowhere to be seen.

This is not to say the government hasn't had its tough days, in fact they've probably had more of those sort of days than (a) they would've liked and (b) really should've had, given they've made the job hard work for themselves.

Labour in particular, probably because they're the largest party, have looked overtly inept. They clearly weren't expecting to be government, and have looked like it.


They've lost two ministers, both women to hopelessly unnecessary matters.

They look shallow in terms of talent, probably because they are, and have struggled with policy ... most notably their ability to win the business community across.

But, they've collectively not just held together, they have in many respects prospered.

There has barely been a hint of dissent, there was a minor verbal skirmish or two around migration and refugees from Winston, who it was suggested might be looking to play his hand a little more overtly.

But when it came to the stuff they had to swallow, everyone has played their part.

From the Greens giving water bottling plants the green light, to the oil ban for New Zealand First to the waka bill for Labour, each party has had to face the simple reality of a multi-party deal; not all you want you get, and not all you do you like.

But at no point in the past 12 months have we had the slightest sniff of scandal, upset, tantys, stamping of feet, or disunity.

This has been a coalition that has set the standard.

The gaps in philosophy especially among Labour and New Zealand First are wide in places, but they have not allowed it to be an issue.

It might have helped that the Greens are a minor, almost outside sort of group within the deal, but if you were looking to mark this lot on their performance in terms of cohesiveness and professionalism, and staying on message, and out of coalition-type trouble, you'd be being churlish to mark them any less than an eight or maybe even a nine out of 10.