As Finance Minister Grant Robertson embarked on his pre-Budget photo-op tradition this morning, Te Pāti Māori's Rawiri Waititi sought to start his own - and steal the show - with a captivating musical performance nearby.
Cutting through the buzz of Budget week, the party co-leader took to the grand piano in the Grand Hall, singing a rendition of John Lennon's Imagine to an audience of mostly journalists and political staffers, and even the Hungarian ambassador.
As he finished to applause, Waititi joked, in a Budget-sensitive manner: "Don't clap, please throw me your money."
Budget 2022 is to be delivered this Thursday, May 19, at 2pm.
It will be Robertson's fifth since taking on the finance portfolio in 2017, and fourth under the "Wellbeing Budget" branding.
Robertson, deputy Prime Minister, will be doing so for the first time without Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern by his side, who will still be isolating at home after contracting Covid-19 over the weekend.
She is planning to deliver a speech to Parliament on Budget Day, provided she is well enough.
The Prime Minister has also confirmed despite not being there in person she will be continuing at least one tradition, that of buying Robertson a new tie.
It is unclear if another tradition, that of eating cheese rolls beforehand with the Finance Minister, will be able to take place in any shape or form.
As is convention, Robertson was prepared for the photo-op on the steps outside Parliament, but as is often convention the Wellington weather did not come to the party, and it was shifted indoors.
There Robertson revealed the front and back covers of the Wellbeing Budget 2022 - a fake, with the 2021 version inside to avoid any unwanted revelations - adorned with one of Robertson's own photos, of a sub-tropical beach scene in the Hokianga harbour.
The landscape photo continued a trend of photos that sought to avoid any sort of controversy, after the first 2019 "wellbeing" budget incidentally featured a photo of a young family who'd moved to Australia due to the rising costs of living here.
Already the Government has made many announcements about what will be in the Budget, from this morning's $100 million boost to mental health the first package over two weeks ago around tackling truancy and plunging school attendance rates.
Monday's release of the Emissions Reduction Plan also signalled a major direction of spending in the coming years, albeit largely funded through the Emissions Trading Scheme revenue.
But Robertson said there was still plenty to be announced come Thursday.
Health, after Monday's climate focus, is expected to be the primary focus, particularly with Health NZ and Māori Health Authority reforms beginning in the coming months.
The Government is also expected to, where it can, frame announcements towards addressing the rising costs of living, and particularly interest rates.
In contrast to the weather outside, Robertson indicated he would not be "making it rain" on Thursday with spending, but rather striking a "careful balance", and keeping a lid on debt.
"The thing I'm really pleased about in this Budget is the importance of getting the balance right between the long-term issues that New Zealand is facing and making sure that we continue to support New Zealanders in the short term."
It was difficult given the slowing economy, Covid, and global issues, he said.
"It is about the pathway for a new normal, and not everything about the old normal is great.
"Of course, the Government wants to make sure that we mitigate the impacts of the global inflation spike. We will do what we can to address those underlying issues. But many of them are global and beyond our control."