How Jacinda Ardern's final full day as Prime Minister played out

So long, farewell. Haere Ra, goodbye.

Ardern on Tuesday embarked on her final outing as Prime Minister. 

Cloaked in a korowai, and cloaked in love, Ardern walked down a Rātana street with a brass band.

"I say if you're going to leave, leave with a brass band. And if you're going to leave with a brass band, leave with a brass band from Rātana," she said.

She said she was leaving the job with a "greater love and affection for New Zealand" than when she began in the job, "and I didn't think that was possible". 

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the greatest privilege of my life." 

She made the pilgrimage to Rātana with her successor Chris Hipkins - a symbolic handing over of the reins of Government.

"This feels like a very special day to me because I get to see my colleague and friend take on the mantle over the next 48 hours," she said.

On their journey, some prime ministerial pointers were exchanged.

"She offered me a few words of advice that I'll keep between us," Hipkins said.

But Ardern gave away a little bit. 

"The most important advice I gave him was 'you do you'."

Rangatahi got the final autograph, the final souvenir.

The incoming Prime Minister has a bit to prove, with one child saying he believes "Jacinda's a better Prime Minister, no offence". 

Ardern sung her successor's praises. 

"Chippy, you're a colleague and friend to us all but I know you will be a wonderful Prime Minister,

Hipkins took to the mic to make a promise. 

"I'll be here every year and you will see my te reo Māori improve," he said.

It was also an emotional day for Ardern's right-hand man - and bestie - Grant Robertson.

"I've had this incredible privilege of working alongside my mate, and she'll go down in history as one of our greatest Prime Ministers."

Deputy leader Kelvin Davis addressed the misogyny and abuse she faced as Prime Minister.

"We as male leaders need to step up and start addressing this misogynistic attitude that is prevailing," he said.

Ardern says that's not what she'll remember.

"I have experienced such love, compassion, empathy, and kindness when I have been in this job. That has been my predominant experience."

But she's done with the prime ministership, done with politics.

"You won't find me commentating on domestic politics."

And with the handing of the baton, a Prime Minister who has spent every day in the global spotlight is ready to take a back seat. 

"I'm ready to be a backbencher, I'm ready to be a sister and a mum."

Signing off as Prime Minister, but staying on in her most important job.

Jenna Lynch Analysis

This was the soft launch of Prime Minister Hipkins

And it was a soft landing among a Labour-friendly audience - Rātana and the Labour Party have a relationship spanning back to Michael Joseph Savage 

Hipkins' speech acknowledged the challenges of the relationship. His first visit here was as a staffer for Helen Clark in 2004, in the midst of the foreshore and seabed controversy.

Newshub understands his speech was his own words. The one written for him hit the cutting room floor. This was an introduction to Chippy the PM.

But Wednesday is when the rubber hits the road.

Hipkins will be sworn in, he will chair his first Cabinet meeting and he will be in charge of the country - and he will be tested accordingly.