Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told The AM Show this morning that her 2018 lowlight was losing two members of her staff.
Clare Curran resigned as a minister in early September after her secret meetings outside of parliamentary business were revealed.
And Meka Whaitiri had to stand aside from her ministerial portfolios during an investigation into an alleged assault on a staff member.
"It's always tough when you have issues that have to be resolved within your own crew and that happened on two occasions," said Ms Ardern.
"I knew the decision that had to be taken in both cases, and we made those decisions fairly decisively."
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She said it was particularly hard dealing with long-time friend Clare Curran.
"You work closely with these individuals. I flatted with [Clare] for the first four years I was in Parliament."
"Unfortunately that's the environment we work in."
She said she had many highlights of the year, including the families' package and child poverty legislation.
"I helped get that [child poverty legislation] ready when I was in opposition, and that will hopefully pass next week."