Claire Trevett casts an eye back on the week in which National Party leader doubled-down rather than backed down on his "buffoon-like" assessment of Boris Johnson, the Greens' had a backfire, and Shane Jones had a party.
Monday: Casting shade, diplomatically.
The Silver Ferns' win over Australia in the Netball World Cup provided balm for cricket-battered souls, including New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands, Don Higgins.
Higgins emailed his Australian counterpart Roderick Brazier after the game.
"I just wanted to pass on my congratulations to our Australian colleagues after a terrific month of sport for Australia: semi-finalists at the cricket world cup and finalists at the netball world cup.
Roll on the Bledisloe Cup and the rugby world cup, I hear you say!"
Hopefully pride does not come before a fall, because Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also revealed she engaged in some unseemly gloating.
After watching the netball, she texted Australia's PM Scott Morrison to gloat at about 3am in Canberra.
"I don't know whether or not he had his phone on silent, but if he woke up to a Kiwi victory … Oh well," she said, sounding not at all repentant.
Another diplomatic development uncovered by Sky News showed the extents the NZ High Commission in Canberra went to assess the likely outcome of the Australian election in May.
A cable back to New Zealand was titled "Formal Message: Australian Federal Election Outcome High Insight".
It included the observation nobody had predicted the Liberals' win: "Even Bert the psychic crocodile with a 100 per cent success rate of election predictions got it wrong."
The cable's recipients included the Department of PM and Cabinet, the SIS, Treasury, the Reserve Bank and several other government departments.
Burt (rather than Bert – note NZ High Commission) is described by the Northern Territory News as its part-time electoral analyst.
He undertakes his predictions by eating a chunk of meat dangling from the bottom of a photo of one of the contestants.
A week before the election, he chose Shorten.
No word yet on whether Burt has now lost his job.
Tuesday: The frugal, forgetful Paul Goldsmith
National Party finance spokesman Paul Goldsmith's hidden talents include martial arts and piano playing, but fashion is not one of them.
So when Bridges spotted Goldsmith sporting a paper bulldog clip to hold together his cuffs on his way down to Wellington, he tried to make a strength out of the weakness, tweeting that it showed how careful Goldsmith was with money.
This is how careful my new finance spokesperson is with money. pic.twitter.com/VuuWGVqHmE— Simon Bridges (@simonjbridges) July 22, 2019
Asked to explain his unique fashion later, Goldsmith admitted to a trait that is not so attractive in a Finance spokesman: forgetfulness. He had forgotten to bring cufflinks.
Michael Woodhouse eventually came to his rescue with a loan.
Wednesday: Day of the insult: Used car salesmen, buffoons and Peters' 'piss and wind'.
The Green Party's attempt to skewer Simon Bridges in a social media clip backfired after its own members objected to mocking Bridges' accent.
The party had lifted footage of Simon Bridges wandering through a used car yard.
Speaking in Parliament, Finance Minister Grant Robertson pointed out National's video clip amounted to an own-goal given the level of trust in politicians and used car salespeople was about the same.
"If you really do want to convince people that you're a used car salesman, trying to dress up some old, tired vehicle that ran out of its warrant of fitness, I don't know, about mid-2017, then the best thing you can do is stick your leader in a used car yard."
Robertson also threw some friendly fire in the direction of NZ First's Shane Jones.
Simon Bridges had just described new British PM Boris Johnson as having "buffoon-like qualities" and "who sometimes gets a bit of marmalade on his chin, who sometimes doesn't say quite the right things, whose personal life can be interesting."
Robertson suggested Bridges "avoid using that description of the British Prime Minister, and save it for Shane Jones".
Meanwhile, Bridges chose to double-down rather than backdown on his assessment of Johnson. Later that night, he re-tweeted an article re-visiting things Johnson had said about other world leaders. Bridges topped it with a simple "hehe".
There was no marmalade, but there was rib sauce on Jones' chin later that night.
Jones hosted a Matariki Party in his office attended by other MPs, staff lobbyists, NZ First stalwarts and media.
Winston Peters held court, guitars were played, Jones gave a short speech, and paua, clams, ribs and cake were eaten - catered by Jones' wife Dot Jones and her helpers.
Ex-MPs Dover Samuels and Clayton Cosgrove turned up for the occasion.
Jones' parties usually involve a wide range of people, many of whom are natural enemies, and this was no exception. Jones himself likes to play up to the tensions.
None of the National Party MPs he invited turned up, leaving Jones to resort to his second-ranked natural enemies: the Green Party.
He greeted the Green Party delegation at the door and pointed them to the food table, hollering "the Patagonian Toothfish is that way".
Eventually a solitary National MP did turn up - one Judith Collins, who had managed to procure herself a late invitation. The natural enemies theme continued. The day before, Collins had described Winston Peters in her father's words as "all piss and wind" in his claims NZ First was a farmers' party.
Of the many petitions presented to Parliament, one prompted tittering among Coronation Street fans.
The petition asked for Parliament to "amend property relationship laws to nullify a de facto relationship when one partner steals from another".
It was presented by a Peter Barlow.
That is presumably not the same Peter Barlow as the Coronation Street character, albeit it an appropriate petition for that character who is a renowned philanderer and bigamist.
Labour Minister Kris Faafoi's promotion to Cabinet resulted in the decision to withdraw from his regular Friday morning slot with National MP Judith Collins on Newshub's AM Show.
It set off something of an audition process to replace him.
Last week, Labour sent in minister Peeni Henare, who proceeded to make something of a diplomatic gaffe by having a go at Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison – just as PM Jacinda Ardern was about to meet Morrison in Australia.
This week Henare was gone, and instead Willie Jackson turned up.
Given Jackson's outspoken history, it is perhaps not the safer option Labour seems to think it was.