National's caucus retreat in Hawke's Bay tomorrow should be a decidedly more anxious affair than Labour's in Wairarapa 10 days ago.
Despite the growing confidence of Simon Bridges as he approaches year three of his leadership with highly respectable poll figures, recent events will have rattled the caucus.
Not least of those is the Government's superbly planned start to election year and the roading announcements which have left National in its dust.
To what extent that affects confidence in Simon Bridges may be clearer by the end of the retreat.
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Perhaps the biggest issue on his plate will be how to manage the divided opinion in the caucus over his pending decision to rule out working with New Zealand First.
But he may have to face questions about judgments on other issues.
First, Bridges will have to settle nerves over the Serious Fraud Office moves to charge four people over a donation to the National Party.
Even though Bridges and the party are in the clear, anything with the words National Party and SFO in the same sentence is a disaster for the party's reputation.
The matter has been completely out of Bridges' hands and his protestations of innocence were made loud and clear from the outset.
But given that disgruntled ex-MP Jami-Lee Ross was the complainant to police, and even that it all started with Ross leaking against Bridges, it serves as a reminder that failures to manage that relationship have also been hugely damaging for the party.
National's decision to rip into the Government's handling of the coronavirus should also be among the issues canvassed.
A crisis is not sacrosanct. Nothing is immune from criticism, especially when it comes to the health of citizens.
But there has to actually be something to fairly criticise before declaring the Government's response hopeless and producing checklists of what needs to be done. Otherwise you are seen to be playing petty politics and exploiting a crisis.
China had barely got to grips with it, let alone New Zealand, before health spokesman Michael Woodhouse was holding a press conference – half an hour before the minister outlined all the steps that had been taken so far.
Woodhouse and Whangārei MP Shane Reti did some excellent work as Opposition MPs last year in highlighting inadequacies after responses to the meningococcal and measles outbreaks.
A crisis does not need a running commentary from the Opposition or spokesmen pretending to be ministers.
It has to let the Government respond, and work out if there were glaring inadequacies to that response in the context of highly challenging circumstances and, only then, speak out.
If those conditions don't exist, Oppositions should keep out of the way of people doing their jobs.
Debate over National's next response to the Government's massive roading plans will be interesting. The plans themselves are clearly a sign of success by National in politicising the cancellation or delay of their own plans to such as extent that the Government had to revive them.
Bridges, as a former Transport Minister and having had one of those cancelled projects on his doorstep, has been a central figure.
It has been entirely fair for National to point out the fact the Government has dusted off National's plans and added a bus lane or cycle lane and claimed them as their own.
It is also true for the Government to say some were unfunded, but it is misleading to imply they were not likely to be funded under National.
Some projects were advanced, and some were 2017 election promises which, like National's previous projects on Roads of National Significance, would have been the subject of government directive to the NZ Transport Agency to build and have funded.
In the end the bigger issue for the excited voting public is not whose idea it was but when they will be delivered.
It will not be difficult for National to build on the record of the KiwiBuild promises in the next eight months to cast doubt on the roading promises.
But with the Government stealing its lunch, it needs to come up with a new menu of infrastructure projects.
On the issue of ruling out New Zealand First, the decision won't be announced at the caucus.
But Bridges has got himself into an unfortunate position because he has built an expectation an announcement will be made early in the year.
There was no need for that.
Yes, it is desirable for parties should spell out their Will, Wonts and Maybes before an election - which includes New Zealand First's saying Maybe about any party.
But for a broad church party like National, when there are no philosophical imperatives that make it vital that a particular party should be ruled out, that decision should be made much close to an election with a lot more information.
Bridges has got himself into a position in which he would now look weak if he delayed the statement for too long and, worse, he would look weak if he said his party was not ruling anyone in or out.
He has painted himself into a corner, presumably deliberately, that will limit his party's options.
Virtually no one in National believes New Zealand First would go with National if it again held the balance of power after the September 19 election.
But that is not a good enough reason to rule out the party if the ultimate effect of the decision is to actually lower your own party vote.
That might not happen until closer to the election.
Yes, National could pick up support from a group of previous NZ First voters who thought it would go with National last election, enough to push the party under 5 per cent.
But there is likely to be a much larger group of soft National supporters who would abandon National closer to the election if it looked as though it had no path to victory.
What Bridges is planning is a massive judgment call or a reckless gamble.
He is confident enough to make the call, but is he smart enough to be right? That will become clear on September 19.