Fresh from his visit to South Korea, Winston Peters has morphed from statesman dining with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice into a Winston waving a big NO sign around like a Play School presenter.
His press conference yesterday was supposedly to clear the air over whether billionaire Owen Glenn gave money to NZ First and the source of a mysterious sum the party's president, Dail Jones, found in its accounts.
It was also a chance for Mr Peters to clear up whether Mr Glenn was given a nod and a wink that he would become honorary consul in Monaco.
The answer to all these questions, it soon became clear, was NO.
Mr Peters began with his own Q and A session telling the media he hadn't even decided whether there would be a consul in Monaco, let alone who it would be.
He finally deigned to allow the media to ask their own questions, but only if they didn't think it was some "fishing expedition" for revelations he would not have to disclose under electoral finance laws.
Asked if he was saying he had never received one dollar from Owen Glenn or any associate of Mr Glenn, he hauls a sign out from under his table.
"NO", it read.
"Got that?" Mr Peters asked. "N-O. To every one of the allegations you have made."
The word "No" made frequent appearances. Every now and then a variation was given. A question of whether NZ First ever asked for money from Mr Glenn drew an "Oh, get lost".
Mr Peters said Mr Jones was "mistaken" and "confused" when he said a mystery sum of close to $100,000 in NZ First's account was an anonymous donation.
The real explanation was it was a consolidation of party funds transferred from other accounts for the $158,000 cheque given to the Starship.
JUST FOR THE RECORD
NZ First leader Winston Peters on whether billionaire Owen Glenndonated to the party:
Q: Has [Glenn] ever offered you money?
Have you ever asked for it?
"Oh, get lost, Barry."
Have you ever asked for it?
"We don't go and ask anybody for money. That's a fact."
Has he ever loaned you money?
"In those two nos you get a third no if you put your mind to it."
On his relationship with Owen Glenn:
"I know Mr Glenn because he owned a famous race horse. That's how I met him. We had a discussion on a whole range of things, including his latest investment in NZ education.
On the question of Monaco, did he express an interest?
"Yes he did." [And what did you tell him?] "I'm afraid we have a process."
On whether he offered Mr Glenn the position of NZ consul in Monaco.
"We are not going to be climbing on the horse before we've got it saddled up. The first thing we have to do is decide whether we need a consul in Monaco or not. We are not ruling anybody in or out. Let's see who might be interested post us making a decision."
On the mystery sum of money NZ First president Dail Jones found in the party's account last December:
"We have a treasurer in the party and he says it's a consolidation of amounts around the party. He should know. One can get confused when you look at documentation and perhaps he [Mr Jones] should have spoken to the treasurer."
What Mr Peters would not discuss:
Anything that did not have to be disclosed under electoral law, including anonymous donations:
"This is not going to be a fishing expedition outside the electoral requirements of this country."
Where the $158,000 came from to "repay" NZ First's unlawful spend at the last election:
"We've had anonymous donations at $10, and $20, and $50 for a long, long time because some people used to think - and it's an attitude that still permeates New Zealand as a democracy - that one day the communists might take over and they will be all in the firing line."