There's a well-worn phrase about how much time a week in politics is.

But this past one - beginning with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's first visit to Australia to the Deputy Prime Minister serving legal papers on MPs and journalists, to the untimely death of "First Cat" Paddles - has been a particularly lengthy and eventful one.

The 52nd New Zealand Parliament sat for the first time this week almost three months after the previous one was dissolved and now, with all the pomp and ceremony out of the way, it's time for the new Labour-led Government and Opposition to get to work.

A lasting image of this week will be the Speaker of the House sitting in Parliament with 3-month-old Heeni - the daughter of Labour MP Willow-Jean Prime - on his lap.


Trevor Mallard, that man who has been booted out of Parliament more times than most, is now playing referee while babysitting.

How times have changed.

It was fitting this was during the first reading of a bill to extend paid parental leave.

Watching MPs Kiri Allan and Ms Prime sitting in the house with their newborns in tow has been heartening and Mr Mallard said he wants to use his role to make it even easier for parents of young children to work in Parliament.

Parliament should be reflective of real life and these images show that it becoming more that case.

To paraphrase some of the comment around it; it's not about politicians being in touch with real people, it's about real people being politicians.

Meanwhile, National have started their stint in Opposition with a hiss and a roar.

The blue side have shown they will use all their experience, built up over nine years in government, to take early shots at the coalition while it spends the first few months finding its feet.

National urged Labour not to waste the gains it believes it made in power.

The Government needs to be on its toes while it settles in leading up to the Christmas break.

Which makes Winston Peters' legal hunt for those responsible for leaking details of his superannuation overpayment during the election campaign a bit daft.

It's a distraction the Government wouldn't want at this crucial time.

Mr Peters and the country would be better served if he focused on getting his Government off the ground.

In any case the 52nd Parliament is away. Let's hope it's a good one for all of us.