When Simon Bridges used his speech at Waitangi to say he was the first Māori leader of a major political party, Winston Peters apparently scoffed.
Bridges may have been correct in the first-past-the-post sense of the word "major."
But given the extent of Winston Peters' "major" impact on New Zealand politics, it was provocative of Bridges.
"Major" doesn't do justice to Peters' role in politics. Monumental is a more appropriate word for Peters' impact including on Bridges himself.
Were it not for Peters and his New Zealand First Party decision to go with Labour, Bridges would not be National Party leader but still a senior Cabinet minister.
As Economic Development Minister, he could have been working alongside Shane Jones in the Regional Development portfolio on how to dish out the $3 billion regional development fund over three years.
Actually, that is not a good example because I have it on good authority that National did not match Labour on the Provincial Growth Fund in the parallel negotiations with New Zealand First after the 2017 election.
In its final agreement, Labour promised $1 billion a year for the fund and National promised only to explore such a fund. On that basis alone it is easy to see why New Zealand First went with Labour.
But it allows National to go as hard as it can against the fund, as Paul Goldsmith does, without any fear of it coming back to bite National for being hypocritical.
Goldsmith is one of Bridges' strongest performing front benchers for those who follow politics closely. He gets under Jones' skin. He comes up with some good examples of questionable decisions. For National it is utu.
The risk for National is that Goldsmith's challenge to the efficacy of the fund is so successful that regional New Zealand could see National as unsympathetic to it – which makes the fund a more effective weapon for New Zealand First than the dosh itself.
Speaking on TV1 from leafy Remuera this week, Goldsmith rubbished the allocation which will see some of the dusty gravel roads in Kaipara being sealed. It was a terrible look.
Goldsmith has run such a strong campaign against the fund that a senior MBIE official this week entered the political debate to defend his minister's fund - with the Rachel Hunter defence.
"Job creation does not happen overnight," the official said in a statement responding to a Goldsmith press statement saying only 54 jobs had been created from the fund so far.
"An expectation otherwise fails to appreciate and understand the fundamentals of project delivery and the fact that work takes time to scale-up."
You don't say? A fact so obvious that it did not need the intervention of the bureaucracy which Jones blames for the fact that scale-up is taking so much time.
Goldsmith and Judith Collins in housing may deserve to have been singled out at National's first caucus this week for having exposed areas of weak delivery for the Government.
Their work and the Government's failings have allowed Bridges to finesse a theme he began last year on the need to be prepared, to have a plan, or at least the need to have a plan that works.
Both Jones and Twyford have plans. It's just that things take a lot longer in the real world.
They have put Jacinda Ardern in defensive mode at the start of the year, feeling the need to declare 2019 the year of delivery, and reminding her own party of what Savage had said - not to expect perfection but to be satisfied with an improvement on the status quo.
It is not quite the advice her party followed in Opposition when Tim Groser implored them to support the TPP trade deal and reminded them of what Voltaire said - that perfection is the enemy of the good.
Perhaps he should have quoted Savage and not Voltaire.
The accusations of the Coalition being ill-prepared will diminish with each response to a major review. For example, Ardern foreshadowed in her state-of-the-nation speech yesterday a major restructure of polytechs and skills training.
Despite the outcry from Bridges, it is almost certainly something National itself would have been forced to do had it been chosen by New Zealand First.
Bridges himself has started the year promising to deliver National's own policy work in the form of eight detailed policy documents including the environment, education, health, law and order and infrastructure.
Bridges' speech at Waitangi spelled out in very simple terms how he sees National's approach to Maori as different – encouraging independence and self-reliance rather than over-reliance on Government.
He has already pledged co-operation with the Government on the establishment of the Climate Commission and the child poverty reduction law.
But National's approach to the Provincial Growth Fund remains one of the most important, politically.
If its success cannot be identified or measured, it is easy to call it a failure.
And given the largely bipartisan approach to Foreign Affairs and Defence, which are both held by New Zealand First, the Provincial Growth Fund has become National's primary target for New Zealand First.
It also serves to chisel away at Jones, the putative heir to Peters' crown.
There is zero expectation in National that New Zealand First is its path back to Government.
That would require Peters to effectively demonstrate disloyalty to his own Coalition in next year's campaign by showing a willingness to go with National, then ditch Ardern, even if New Zealand First survived the election.
That is in doubt given the record of small parties in Government, more so if any credible centre or right parties resulted in a small seepage of support from New Zealand First.
Be it survival or demise, the party's fortunes will continue to have a major impact on New Zealand politics and National's future.