Jenna Lynch analysis: Dealing with Winston Peters is Christopher Luxon's first major test of leadership

ANALYSIS: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon on Tuesday wouldn't comment on Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters' media comments, saying he hadn't seen them.  

But how long can he keep up that defence?   

It's over from the first time he says it, and frankly if we are to believe Luxon that he had not seen Peters' comments, then this is either a case of incompetence or wilful ignorance.   

The Prime Minister is going to need to learn very quickly that 'I haven't seen that' isn't an acceptable answer for a Prime Minister.    

He will have to get himself across everything that Peters says, lest he be tripped by one of the rogue tangents from the Government's agenda, because he is ultimately responsible for him.

As the Prime Minister, he sets the tone, the standard of the Government and Luxon has a major test of leadership sitting right in front of him.  

If this was another Cabinet minister, the assumption is they would be hauled over the coals for it - certainly he expected that standard from the Prime Minister when he was the leader of the Opposition.  

Some leeway can be given for Luxon still getting his feet under the desk, still getting a feel for how this job works.    

But as he loves to remind everyone, this is not Winston Peters' first rodeo. He knows the rules, he knows how to bend them.  

While this new Government is bedding in, Peters will be testing the boundaries of how far Luxon will let him go.    

Luxon's first big test as Prime Minister is now a forced one: whether he holds Peters to the same standard as any other - or whether there is a special clause, a different set of rules for the New Zealand First crew.  

Jenna Lynch is the Newshub Political Editor.