Announcing the biggest infrastructure spending programme since Think Big, the coalition's "New Zealand Upgrade" should have been a political triumph.
But revealing a $6.8 billion spend-up in the Auckland offices of law firm Chapman Tripp, minister after minister was, at times, defensive, as if they needed to prove they were the ones making the plans.
The leaders of the three governing parties outlined billions in dollars of spending on Wednesday, focused mainly on transport, with funding weighted towards Auckland and overwhelmingly on the upper North Island.
This may upset some smaller communities, but it reflects the population pressures in growth areas.
Announcing major civic projects is what governments love to do.
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Promising reduced congestion and improved safety on some of New Zealand's most congested roads, as well as significant investment in rail and cycleways, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was able to effectively announce thousands of new jobs in construction.
But repeatedly it seemed the Government felt as if it needed to insist that it was the one making the programme happen.
Both Ardern and Robertson stressed a number of the projects had been "talked about" by National, but this was the only Government to actually fund them.
National's leader would have been the elephant in the room had Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters criticised Simon Bridges in his speech, questioning the former transport minister's credentials, saying he promised roads which he never allocated money for.
Bridges, in turn, claimed the announcement was "quite flattering" as the Government had simply copied plans which he made when National was in Government, before shelving them.
A week after Ardern pleaded for election campaigning to be factual, it suggests many basic claims about the Government's programme will be up for debate in this year's election.
Transport spending will be hotly contested ground as both sides claim to be the most supportive of infrastructure.
National's announcement prior to the 2017 election that it planned to build a number of the roads - a number of which were confirmed by the Government this week - did not constitute any real commitment.
It is right however, that Labour's attempts to refocus the transport sector away from roads means years of potential work may have been lost.
Ultimately though the Government gets to set the agenda and such a vast programme will likely be viewed positively.
It is happening at a time when interest rates are low and the economy appears to be faltering, making conditions as perfect as they will ever be.
The three parties presented as an unusually cohesive unit; despite the focus on roads, the Green Party was able to take credit for cycleways as well as the intent that some of the new projects will prioritise freight and public transport.
The spending programme releases funding from both national and Auckland transport budgets, while Shane Jones can tap into the Provincial Growth Fund for smaller regional projects if needed.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson also has billions left at his disposal which could be announced through the year, with a further $4b from the programme announced in December still to be allocated.
With so much capital at its disposal, the Government should focus on its own plans rather than worry that the public will associate the plans with National.