The General Debate started typically enough, but a few speeches later it took a very sharp turn.
In normal circumstances, the opening acts would have been the focus. Not yesterday.
It was a first outing for the new leader of the Opposition, Judith Collins. A chance to stamp her authority and message on the proceedings. Her plan was to put pressure on the government over a list of planned infrastructure projects.
In response, Megan Woods, had her own critique on the new leader of the Opposition. "Was it a blueprint for an alternative vision for this country? No. It was 'release the list'."
Next up, the new deputy leader of the National Party, Gerry Brownlee with his first outing in the deputy-leadership role. So far, so normal. His approach was part punch and part punchline.
For the penultimate speech before normal business failed, Labour Minister Chris Hipkins. He began the way all Parliamentary speeches tend to begin, with an ad-lib response to the previous speaker before moving onto his notes.
"Gerry Brownlee forgot the first job of a deputy leader, which is don't overshadow the leader in her first big speech. Mind you, Judith Collins set the bar pretty low, something that we've of course come to expect from Judith Collins in all of her endeavours in this House," Hipkins said.
And finally, Shane Reti, new to the Opposition's health spokesperson role.
And at that point the usual script ended.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters stood up and read a speech of pointed accusations against a long list of named individuals inside and outside of the House whom he believed were involved in the release of information about his personal superannuation mistake. It was quite a long list.
If spoken outside the debating chamber much of what he said might be considered defamatory, but inside the Chamber MPs are protected by parliamentary privilege and can speak without fear of legal redress.
One subject of Peters' accusations was ACT Leader David Seymour, who stood immediately following the speech and asked for the right of reply - in this case by seeking to make a 'personal explanation'. This is allowed in Parliament but only with the unanimous consent of the MPs present.
"The member has sought leave to make a personal explanation. Is there any objection? Yes, there is," Trevor Mallard said.
"You've had your chance," shouted Peters, having objected to leave being given.
But, regardless, another chance was about to arrive.
The new Shadow Leader of the House, Chris Bishop, about to rise for his own speech asked National's Deputy Whip Matt Doocey to arrange for one of the party's General Debate slots to be gifted to Seymour.
Perchance Bishop was next up for a speech himself and defended himself and others accused.
There is a Parliamentary convention that MPs don't make accusations against named members of the public, since they do not have the capacity to defend themselves under the same level of privilege that the MPs enjoy. Peters' accusations were particularly unusual for including a series of named members of the public.
While that speech was underway Seymour spoke with tNational Party Deputy Whip Matt Doocey to find a speaking slot.
And a few speaking slots later, he got his opportunity.
But at the very end of his speech Seymour broke a rule about impugning another MP, when he accused Peters of lying. You can call MPs many things, but not liars, not specifically at least.
"...Winston Peters, that's your problem, don't lie and make it mine," Seymour said.
So the Speaker asked him to withdraw and apologise, he refused and was kicked out. But soon after the next speech began the Speaker decided that wasn't proper form and sent the Serjeant-at-arms after Seymour to bring him back to the Chamber.
The next speech happened to be Labour MP Poto Williams, a former assistant speaker herself. She abandoned her prepared speech to talk instead about the behaviour of MPs, the privilege they have, the honour of serving, and the example they set.
And during that speech Seymour returned to the chamber, where the Speaker gently explained the state of play.
And so, at the end of Poto Williams' speech he got a second crack at the formula parliamentary apology for an 'unparliamentary remark'.
"I withdraw and apologise."
Just another quiet day in the House.