What did we learn from Hipkins' first post-Cab appearance as PM?

Chris Hipkins speaks as PM.

Analysis: Have you ever got a text from a friend that says "I've got so much to tell you, call me"? Naturally, you call back straightaway - but the friend doesn’t pick up.

They don't call you back. You text, and they say they'll tell you soon. That's kind of what Chris Hipkins' first post-Cabinet press conference felt like.

Post-Cabinet press conferences usually have some sort of announcement. It's not a codified rule, but it is something of a convention.

New Prime Minister Hipkins - who at one point accidentally called Jacinda Ardern the prime minister, before realising and correcting it to "former" - took to the podium in the Beehive theatrette for the first time as PM on Thursday afternoon.

And he told us... not a lot. Only that he will have a lot to say.

He said he expected to reprioritise the Government's work programme. We heard that last week.

Today's Stats NZ figures, showed the annual inflation rate remained relatively steady over 2022, with a 7.2% annual increase in the September 2022 quarter and a 7.3 % increase in the June 2022 quarter.

In response to a question about this, Hipkins said the Government was "doing it's bit to bring spending down to normal levels" to avoid contributing to inflation.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said this earlier in the day. In fact, Act leader David Seymour earlier took a swipe at Robertson over that comment, saying he'd "effectively admitted that out-of-control government spending is to blame for sky high inflation".

Hipkins then said he would be going over a Cabinet reshuffle, to be announced next week. We knew that too.

This is the point where, in response to reporters' questions, Hipkins, gaining more of a sense of humour about it over time, started to repeatedly say he wouldn't make "policy on the fly", though he did give a tantalising hint.

In response to a question about whether a capital gains tax or change in the superannuation age was on the table, he said he planned to honour previously-made commitments on tax policy.

Ardern had ruled out raising the superannuation age and introducing a capital gains tax while she was prime minister.

Asked what the Government had done to lower grocery prices, Hipkins said it was working to make sure there was competition, and fair regulation in the sector.

That could have been a line from Ardern in a 2022 press conference.

While we didn't learn too much - as Hipkins pointed out, he'd only been in the job a few hours. But that doesn't mean he could not have burst out energetically with a shiny new toy for the public. Instead, it looks like a softly-softly approach for now.

Instead, the most interesting thing about Hipkins' 40-odd minutes at the podium was his schedule for this Thursday.

He's spending most of the day meeting with business leaders.

What can we glean from that?

Hipkins' lunge for the centre-right and the lost swing voters starts tomorrow.

He said he would meet with business groups to hear from them "what they see as the priority".

Hipkins needs to make Labour feel different, and he's signalled that, talking repeatedly about a "refocus". It may need to be more of a reset than a refocus.

And if he can get business to text him back, he might be half way there.