He is No 5 on the list - but today Tony Ryall will be in charge of the country.
The health minister will add Prime Minister John Key's job to his workload as close to half the Cabinet heads across the Tasman.
Mr Ryall's elevation occurs between 4pm today and midnight on Saturday, while Mr Key and seven other ministers are in Australia.
It is thought to be one of the few times the acting prime minister's role has been held by a minister outside the top three.
It means he will technically be in charge of the country and be guarded by the armed police who usually accompany Mr Key everywhere.
Mr Ryall was promising not to let it go to his head, ruling out a sneaky Cabinet reshuffle while his colleagues are away.
"I don't think it's going to be that much different because of course the prime minister will still be in very close quarters in Australia, but I'm going to be available for acting prime ministerial duties at a moment's notice.
"It's going to be a great privilege and I'm quite honoured that the prime minister would trust me to look after the country."
Good on you Tony! It may only be "acting", and it may only be for 50-odd hours, but Ryall has achieved something that very, very few New Zealanders ever have or ever will. And that should make the relentless teasing on Breakfast this morning over his fashion sense a little easier to bear!