Some time early in 2010 John Key will be asked a question in Parliament: Can the prime minister tell the House how many New Zealanders emigrated to Australia in 2009?
A lot sooner than that, Health Minister Tony Ryall is going to be asked: Can the minister tell the House whether waiting times for elective surgery have improved since his government took office?
The problem with campaign promises is that the Opposition remembers them, and holding governments to their word is part of the process.
National made a lot of promises before the election, now it has to deal with the crisis of expectation it has generated by doing so.
The exodus to Australia was hammered for months before the campaign even started. Don Brash campaigned on it in 2005 and John Key enthusiastically picked up the theme.
It was good campaign material. The figures look horrendous -- nearly 48,000 in the year to October, a record exodus, and National says they were our best and brightest.
We have to do something, said Key, or we'll become nothing more than a giant educational facility for Australia.
The general idea is to make conditions better in New Zealand so people don't look across the Tasman for higher wages and a higher standard of living. "Vote National for a brighter future."
Doing it isn't going to be so easy. There's a target of pay parity with Australia by 2025, which is a generous margin, but Finance Minister Bill English was quoted in the Weekend Herald as saying the goal was "at the upper end of realistic".
National has given Labour a stick to beat it with. Even though it's a long term target, voters could reasonably expect the exodus would at least begin to lessen during next year.
If it doesn't, the Government isn't going to look good. And if it increases, the Government is going to look very bad.
The same goes for hospital waiting lists, the second most high-profile promise National has made.
Ryall is a smart operator and he didn't put any figures into the arena during the campaign. But he lashed the Government for the best part of three years over waiting times, so he could be reasonably expected to deliver an improvement.
Last week he said he was going to set waiting time targets for hospital emergency departments. They would be "firm targets" that district health boards would be "required" to meet.
He wasn't specific and said the target would be set in consultation with clinicians and the DHBs.
But he did point out that in Britain the target was four hours from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge.
The next day, he got his first reality check. The Nurses Organisation said initiatives to improve patient care were laudable but couldn't be achieved without enough staff to handle the patients.
"We would be wary of changes that do not meet the core need of ensuring patient safety and instead shift the problem from one area of the hospital to another," the organisation said.
The point was he'd better not be thinking about shifting nurses into emergency departments to make the figures look good at the expense of gridlocks further up the treatment chain.
The brain drain and waiting lists are two easily identified examples of expectations created by the new government, but there are a lot more.
We can expect Justice Minister Simon Power to make a difference when it comes to dealing with gangs and organised crime.
After all, he's been saying for long enough that Labour was too soft. Power already has legislation in the pipeline, but whether it will make any difference will be the real question he is going to have to answer before too long.
And Housing Minister Phil Heatley, who made a name for himself in opposition with multiple hits on ministers over state house scams and scandals. We can expect him to put an end to that nonsense.
Then there's Agriculture Minister David Carter, who said Federated Farmers pre-election wishlist broadly reflected the Government's intentions. Federated Farmers must have been pleased about that, but they shouldn't hold their breath.
And the Department of Corrections. Remember the hapless Damien O'Connor and the endless question time grillings he went through before Phil Goff took it over? O'Connor isn't in Parliament any more.
That portfolio didn't go to the MP who held it in opposition -- Simon Power -- because it was given to Judith Collins. She hasn't handled it before but if anyone can fix it, she can. Collins is tough and uncompromising, she'll be interesting to watch.
One of National's most important targets in opposition was government spending. English banged on about it for years, the big spend-up he said was largely responsible for inflation and the high interest rates the Reserve Bank used to control it.
A process is being set up for line-by-line reviews of the way government departments spend their money, but this is going to be entangled with the economic stimulus package ministers are preparing. English says he's working "flat out" on it.
The Government should be cut some slack over meeting promises to cut spending while the country faces unprecedented hits from the international financial and economic crisis.
Economic deterioration, expected to be starkly revealed in Treasury figures due within the next two weeks, could put paid to the best of intentions.