MPs have had a torrid time in recent weeks.
Climate change policy can create endangered species, as Kevin Rudd found out.
Governments worldwide have grappled with various responses to greenhouse gas emissions and Australia's version of an emissions trading scheme (ETS) wasn't much different to ours.
When politicians throw mud, does some of it stick? Or is it counter-productive and do voters treat it with contempt?
From the evidence of past mud-slinging, it doesn't pay and it usually ends up all over the throwers.
Post-budget best case scenario for the Government: Most people react responsibly, saving or investing their tax cuts. Inflation rises but far less than Treasury's forecast.
Surprising misconceptions and startling contradictions surround the Government's affirmation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
When Rodney Hide complained last year that the Government "wasn't doing anything" the point he was trying to make was that it hadn't set a course for the sort of economic reform it had talked about before the election.
When Jenny Shipley was appointed health minister in the previous National government, she confidently told Parliament she would be judged on hospital waiting lists.
This was unwise, because the waiting lists didn't improve and she was indeed judged, loudly and often, by the Labour Party.
During its first year in office, the Government managed to run its agenda without suffering any noticeable damage. When difficulties did arise, Prime Minister John Key found remedies and shrugged them off in that way he has of making problems appear insignificant.
On Tuesday in Parliament John Key will make the most important speech of his political career.
The prime minister's address, a set-piece event at the beginning of each parliamentary year, will outline the National-led government's agenda for 2010 and define its economic recovery programme.
This year is the Government's second since taking office, and its actions over the next 12 months will influence the outcome of the 2011 election.
Governments like to send us off to Christmas and summer breaks feeling good about life and the economy, with nothing much to gripe or worry about during the parliamentary recess which lasts through to early February.
What is it with small parties? On an MP for MP basis they get into a hugely disproportionate amount of trouble.
Look at the figures. National 58 seats, Labour 43, ACT five and the Maori Party five.
If the impact of the international recession on New Zealand's economy was more severe now than a year ago, or even if it was the same, the Government would have a problem.
It isn't, and in terms of public perception the Government clearly doesn't have a problem.
Few things annoy MPs more than the media poking its nose into their expenses, and there are few issues with so many grey areas to poke into.
John Key's pledge to wage war on gangs and in particular the very addictive drug known as 'P' (pure methametaphine) is fraught with difficulty.
Last week Meteria Turei was quizzed on TV One's Q and A about two Green MP's claiming the same parliamentary accomodation perk that has gotten Bill English (or the 'Double Dipper from Dipton' as Winston Peters has labelled him) into heaps of trouble.