National leader Judith Collins found herself reaching for Dr Seuss to describe the new world we are preparing to enter, and its plethora of rules and legal measures.
The poem she may have been thinking about was One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.
It came as the country prepared to sail forth on its vaccinated future from alert level numbers to the new traffic lights system, with its red, orange and green settings.
It is a world in which vaccinated people get jobs and concerts and haircuts while the unvaccinated are limited to some kind of interminable hell of a level 3 life, restricted to visits to supermarkets and pharmacies.
But to get there by December, the Government needs to pass a law to allow businesses to require their staff to be vaccinated if they work in certain roles - and to sack them if they don't.
The same law will require them to give four weeks' paid notice to those who refuse to get vaccinated, and the deadline is early December for the first injection.
There is almost universal political support for businesses to be able to cater to vaccinated people only, and to have the legal backing they need to apply mandates for staff in jobs that involve close contact with the public: hospitality, events, gatherings, gyms.
The issue is not with the need for the law - but with the speed.
Where Act and National are on solid ground is in the criticism of the Government rushing through the law that does all of that under Urgency.
Ardern has argued the rush is because it has to be in place before the traffic lights system kicks in in December.
It will not be the first time haste has been borne from necessity in this pandemic. The Government has been passing laws that have massive impacts on people's freedoms on the run since the very first lockdown.
But that does not make it any more desirable and nor is it as excusable as it was in the earlier days of the pandemic. In the case of the vaccine certificates it is particularly lamentable, and should have been avoided.
Public trust in the Government response is already faltering and ramming through such a law change with no public input will do little to help that. It should have been avoidable.
It has been clear for some time vaccination certificates would be needed, and for a long time before then there had been a chance we would need them.
They were being widely used overseas and our own traffic lights system was first released on 22 October and must have been under consideration for weeks before then.
Ardern herself has observed the framework had been available since October and people had already had a month to get their heads around it.
That may be true – but the same point could be used to ask why the Government has taken until now to sort out the law that goes with it.
As a result, a law change that is estimated to result in vaccine mandates over 40 per cent of the country's workforce will be pushed through this week under urgency, without any space for public submissions and without time for select committees to knuckle out any fishhooks or flaws. Even the Ministry of Justice did not get time to vet it properly.
The Government has said it consulted with unions, business, iwi and other groups in recent weeks while devising the law.
But it is Parliament, not Government, that passes laws and back-room consultations with handpicked groups are no replacement for public consultation.
Such a process gives the perception of human rights being easily trampled over and will do little to quell the concerns of those worried about the mandates. It also invites legal challenges to the law.
In Parliament on Tuesday, Ardern mounted an impassioned defence of the Government response to criticism about why it had taken so long. She said the traffic lights system was New Zealand's home-made version of dealing with a transition many other countries had struggled with.
She noted that had served us well over the past 18 months, resulting in low hospitalisations, death rates, case numbers, as well as a resilient economy.
"So I'd be happy to look at an alternative example, but many point to New Zealand," she said.
The trouble with pandemics, is there is no time to rest on your laurels.