Wellington mayor Andy Foster has a reputation for being late to the party - and the protest that has been raging at Parliament is no exception.
His lack of leadership has been disappointing, but as the weeks have dragged on he has also managed to find his voice and I believe in giving credit where credit's due.
The case against Foster starts with his failure to be proactive.
At any given time, but especially at a time like this, Wellingtonians want to know their mayor is being an advocate for the city.
An independent report into dysfunction at Wellington City Council last year said being a champion for the city was one of the key roles as mayor (spoiler alert, Foster hadn't been doing a very good job at this).
So it surprised me that Foster was giving quite reactive interviews to the media about the protest instead of taking control to face-down the crisis.
Wellington City Council was issuing updates on the number of parking tickets dished out, - the fact that a dedicated team was set up to address operational issues, and to say safety and security presence was being boosted in the city.
In other words, the council was taking action. So why didn't Foster hold his own press conferences, have a point of view, and tell people what the council was doing?
It's even more surprising because whether Foster likes it or not, it's an election year.
Enter Tory Whanau- the only person who has confirmed a bid for Wellington's mayoralty.
Not even Foster has confirmed whether he is running for his job again.
Whanau issued a statement on the Saturday of the second week of the protest calling for Foster to show some leadership and advocate for Wellingtonians whose freedom to move safely about the city had been denied.
Foster responded saying he had had several conversations with his staff and police on next steps to deal with the protest, but would not reveal what they were or when they would happen.
"When we've got something to tell you I will be in touch. I'll do that when I'm ready to do that," Foster told the Herald.
It does not surprise me in the least that Foster was down in the weeds focusing on operational matters he could not disclose. He loves being in the thick of an issue like that.
Instead, he should have focused on the letter he wrote to Finance Minister Grant Robertson the day before asking for urgent financial support for Wellington businesses.
Or the joint statement he signed with Robertson and other city leaders calling for the protest to end immediately.
Both the letter and the statement actually marked a turning point in Foster's leadership over the protest.
The case for Foster starts here.
In the third week of the protest, Foster confirmed he had met with protest "influencers".
His fellow councillors were horrified. They said it was dangerous, embarrassing, and appalling, especially because other political leaders had agreed not to meet with the protesters while their actions were unlawful.
I personally don't support Foster meeting with the protesters, but I don't think Wellingtonians are necessarily vehemently opposed to it either.
Foster said he had the explicit support of police and was trying to resolve the protest instead of standing on the sidelines and saying "please go".
Considering the lack of success in ending the protest, or whatever you want to call what it has turned into, Foster's hands-on approach is in a way refreshing.
At least he didn't help fix any of the protest infrastructure like when he was snapped pitching a tent at Shelly Bay, although Foster has said in this case he was just being a "good camper" and helping to fix a broken pole.
On the 17th day of the protest at Parliament Foster gave a speech at the beginning of a full council meeting where councillors were set to discuss a pandemic response plan to help local businesses.
A press release was even sent out.
The speech itself wasn't particularly revolutionary, but it captured the sentiment of what many people are feeling between the protest and the growing Omicron outbreak.
Foster spoke of the anxiety and stress, the upended plans, dreams and livelihoods.
"Let's be clear, this protest has to end, it will end, it's just a matter of when and how," Foster said.
I'm doubtful the protest will miraculously be the making of Foster. After all, delivering a decent speech should come with the territory of being the mayor.
But he finally sounded a little bit more like the champion Wellington deserves.
• Senior Wellington journalist Georgina Campbell's fortnightly column looks closely at issues in the capital.