Parliament's first refugee MP Golriz Ghahraman has celebrated her Green Party's strange bedfellow in government, NZ First, as a testament to the beautiful "diversity of thought" alive in New Zealand democracy.
Issuing her adjournment speech earlier this week as Parliament wrapped for 2017, Ms Ghahraman reflected on her "exhilarating" election campaign that saw her win a Greens list seat in Parliament after the special votes were counted.
"I'll zoom out as I look back to the campaign. It was tough. It was tough for everyone of us in it, but undoubtedly also tough for everyone out there," Ms Ghahraman.
"But it was also exhilarating, it was a defining moment for our democracy which we learnt is alive and well.
"Then we stopped and learnt about MMP, we learnt to count, we realised we have a beautiful system where every vote counts and we get to have diversity within our government.
"It turns out if you have a lot of friends in here, because you like diversity of thought in your politics, you get to win, and that is how we changed the government.
Ms Ghahraman went on to reveal how reality set in following the jubilation of being elected, as she realised her Greens portfolios of trade, foreign affairs and defence would all be taken up by NZ First MPs Winston Peters and Ron Mark.
"The real business of MP-ing began, and for me that was quite a gauntlet," Ms Ghahraman said.
"It hit me that my portfolios of trade, foreign affairs, defence meant that I might be in opposition a lot of times in this house even within the government, even when everyone else agrees."
Ms Ghahraman also touched on her pride in calling to account the humanitarian crisis on Manus Island, where Australia has an offshore detention centre for refugees arriving to their shores by boat.
"I got hundreds of messages from on the island, family messages, activists from around the world and the full weight of being the refugee MP hit me," she said.
"The panic hit when I realised that these were our kind of people, they were political cartoonists, activists who had criticised our governments, they were members of the rainbow community, gay men running away from the likes of ISIS.
"Our government put this on the agenda for talks across the ditch because friends don't let friends torture refugees, and I got a huge platform to criticise our friends across the Tasman and it felt great."