A government. Or maybe not.

After fasting 40 days and 40 nights without a government, New Zealand today will finally have a new administration to call its own.

Or maybe it won’t? Who would know after another farcical day in National leader Christopher Luxon’s attempts to form a new government.

As perhaps befits the confusion that has surrounded these talks, at one stage yesterday Stuff was reporting that there would be no announcement regarding a new government that day, The New Zealand Herald was reporting that an announcement was likely today, and Radio New Zealand was hedging its bets by not making any predictions at all.

What we did know was that the three key pieces on the political chessboard — Mr Luxon, Act New Zealand leader David Seymour, and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters were all in the capital. Indeed, they were even within the parliamentary complex. It was widely expected, and widely reported, that a deal was done and set to be announced.

Mr Seymour said Act’s board had been appraised of the agreement he and his team had reached.

Even the arch master of prevarication, Mr Peters, said that no more negotiations were being held.

Parliament’s Banquet Hall had reportedly been set up for a grand unveiling of the new coalition.

There were lights, cameras, but ultimately not much action.

Eventually, belatedly, Mr Luxon emerged to announce that the deal was awaiting final ratification from all concerned, and honestly, truly, would be signed on Friday: "isn’t that terriffic?"

Well, yes it is but not before time.

After all this running around, through a process which has had all the dignity and gravitas of a chase sequence in the badly-dated English comedy the Benny Hill Show, what prospects of whatever government which emerges today — all going to plan, and of that who can be certain — actually lasting?

The usual rhetoric dictates that all three coalition partners describe their eventual agreement as one which would lead to strong, stable government.

That remains to be seen, but at this point there seems little reason to doubt that claim.

While Mr Peters might not always have been the most congenial of partners in government, the administrations he helped form with Helen Clark and then Dame Jacinda Ardern both succeeded in reaching the end of their prescribed term. Mr Peters also performed creditably as foreign minister.

His "reward", both times, was for NZ First to be shunned by voters and drop below the 5% threshold. That is a risk Mr Peters will be wary of, but he will well know that being the party which upsets the governmental apple cart will also not be the way to return to Parliament in 2027.

Mr Seymour, meanwhile, has restored Act, after many years in the wilderness, back to a position of influence. Having been a constructive, propositional opposition it will be of no benefit whatsoever to himself or his party not to behave themselves now that they in a position to make some of their policies a reality.

But that is in the future, on whatever happy day it might be when we actually have a new government.

Maybe today? That is what we are led to believe. With a signing ceremony in the morning, Cabinet appointments to come in the afternoon, and a possible first sitting day for Parliament of December 5.

But after all that has gone on so far, maybe not?

For the sake and sanity of all involved let us hope so. There are many challenges facing New Zealand, and the new government will need to hit the ground running.

And another thing

Whenever happens in Auckland this weekend, the South can justly be proud of the efforts of Southern United in reaching the final of the National Women’s League.

Although they have more than held their weight in recent seasons, few football pundits had Southern making the final of the national women’s competition, given the greater resources available to their northern rivals.

Spirit can take a team a long way though, and in this case it has taken Southern all the way to Mt Smart on Sunday and a clash with Auckland United — a team it drew with in the regular season, so they have a realistic chance of snaring a rare national sporting title for the region.