Many Budget Day traditions have been destroyed by the Covid-19 lockdown, but those that survive include Finance Minister Grant Robertson getting a haircut just before his big day.
Robertson emerged sporting that new haircut on Tuesday. His partner, Alf, had done it, and the overall effect was of a startled kiwifruit.
The PM has delivered on a second tradition: giving Robertson a new tie for the occasion.
That tie was ordered by Ardern from a local sole trader, and custom-made for Robertson.
They are small traditions, but nonetheless a nod to the "same" for a Budget where everything else is different.
One tradition Robertson will be breaking is that of delivering a surplus. And that is an understatement.
Robertson has already forewarned that ahead lies a sea of red ink.
The title the Government has adopted is the Rebuilding Together Budget.
The brutal truth is that it is more the Budget of Doom.
Ardern is already trying to make sure it does not also turn into a Budget of Gloom - she warned of a "very tough winter" but tried to instil some hope about a spring ahead, saying the Government would invest, not cut, and focus on jobs.
It does not help that Budget Day is also the first day of alert level 2 – and likely to mark the day on which things start to get a lot harder for a Government which until now has been almost beyond reproach in the public's mind.
Nor will the Government be able to gloss over it with talk of "togetherness" and the "team of five million".
The biggest immediate threat to the thin thread of hope contained in the word "recovery" is a resurgence of the virus, and a return to lockdown.
Keeping level 2 intact requires clear rules and directions, and the Government is already wrestling with the inevitable teething problems.
The rules at level 4 were very clear, largely because people were not allowed to do much at all.
The more freedoms that are allowed, the more extensive and confusing the rules become, pages of who can do what and when.
The casualty of that is clarity.
Rules that seem clear on paper are very seldom as clear cut when applied to real life.
People also become more questioning, especially if they see contradictions or injustices in those rules.
The first example of that has already come up: the case for funerals.
That was articulated best by National Party leader Simon Bridges, who questioned why 100 people could go to a movie theatre and more than 10 could run around a sports field, but only 10 could go to a funeral – even if distancing could be put in place.
The initial answer was that the Government did not trust people not to hug each other at funerals.
Ardern even suggested it was better that people could not farewell their loved ones at all, than that they should be asked to farewell them without being able to physically comfort each other.
It was a rare misstep, and flew in the face of Ardern's earlier statements that she trusted New Zealanders to do what was necessary to keep the virus at bay.
Such was the backlash that the Government ended up moving on this yesterday, allowing for a compromise.
In that regard, one other tradition remains intact: that of Winston Peters created confusion out of order.
In 2015, Peters shared the secret of catching a flounder in the Whananaki estuary next to his home.
The trick was to find a flounder, kick up some mud so it could not see you and then stand on it. Ta da! Dinner underfoot.
Peters has long been skilled at muddying the waters, but there are times and places for it.
Since Peters has returned, almost every press appearance he has done has been a goldmine for journalists, and a minefield for the Prime Minister.
In the space of half an hour on Tuesday alone he raised the prospect of an end to the hongi, scolded China, and proposed that migrants who had found themselves out of work or stranded in New Zealand should "go home" rather than try to get Government assistance here.
Perhaps his worst mud-stirring came in his own interpretation of the rules for gatherings – he suggested that after a funeral service up to 100 could gather at a hall or restaurant provided they all sat in groups of 10.
This put him at odds with the Prime Minister, who had said the exact opposite.
Saying "Winston Peters said we could" is unlikely to pass muster when police are called in to deal with such a gathering.
It illustrated just why the Prime Minister's office told ministers not to do interviews after the release of papers on the handling of the pandemic last week. One voice equates to one message.
The problem was Peters was the only one exempt from it.