Jacinda Ardern is the first MMP prime minister prepared to publicly humiliate herself in the interests of her Government's support partners.

The convention since 1996 has been that policy differences are sorted behind closed doors, with prime ministers then maintaining a fiction that a consensus has been achieved.

It hasn't worked for anyone, big parties or small.


Back in 1996, when Jim Bolger agreed to Winston Peters' ill-fated referendum on compulsory retirement savings, Bolger and most of his National Party ministers publicly backed the proposal.

The main exception was Jenny Shipley, then focused on taking Bolger's job.

Instead of