Two wooden podiums deliberately spaced apart in front of striped mustard yellow banners urging people to "unite against Covid-19" and a line of prominently placed New Zealand flags.
It's a scene most New Zealanders are now all too familiar with.
At 1pm most days, the entire country comes to a standstill to listen to the Government's Covid-19 update, usually fronted by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and director general of health Ashley Bloomfield.
• Covid 19 coronavirus: Two new deaths, Bloomfield apologises to family
• Covid 19 coronavirus: Family with Invercargill woman as she died
• Covid 19 coronavirus: The brink of elimination? Number of higher risk cases down to two
• Covid 19 coronavirus: Second Southland death after woman dies at hospital
These press conferences have become the focal point of most news agendas across the country.
It's where Ardern announced New Zealand was going into lockdown and where she announced we were coming out.
It's where the first Covid-19 death was revealed and it's likely where she will announce the last.
Tens of thousands of New Zealanders watch these briefings every day but only a select few are actually allowed in the Beehive theatrette.
Just metres away from the Prime Minister and Bloomfield, scattered throughout the room sits New Zealand's most loathed essential workers: the Press Gallery journalists.
The daily press conferences often spark a tirade of complaints on social media about "idiotic questions" and shouting matches between reporters.
While Ardern and Bloomfield have become international superstars and the heroes of New Zealand's Covid-19 fight, the gallery reporters have seemingly become the villains of the story. Where the United States has Trump, it seems New Zealand has its journalists.
The Financial Times recently dubbed our Prime Minister "Saint Jacinda" and Bloomfield has made international headlines for his competence in the face of a health pandemic.
Despite this, we do the unthinkable, we challenge Jacinda Ardern and Ashley Bloomfield - that is our job.
If the 1pm press conference was a tame wholesome affair, we would not be doing our job.
Press conferences have always been loud, they're meant to be gritty and they're supposed to be raw – now more than ever.
The daily conference starts just before 1pm whenreporters begin their migration from their offices to the theatrette.
For the most part, any pre-press conference chatter and gossip is kept to a minimum. Livestreams start 10 minutes before Ardern takes the podium, meaning the microphones pick up any conversation.
We often forget tens of thousands of people are listening in and we regularly receive a flurry of "mics are live" texts midway through innocuous bits of small talk with one another.
At 1pm, or a few minutes after, we're alerted to the fact the Prime Minister is inbound by the sound of camera shutters snapping photos of Ardern walking into the room, often with Bloomfield by her side.
It always starts the same way: Ardern makes a couple of opening comments before handing over to Bloomfield, who outlines the number of new cases.
He passes back to Ardern, who details any Government announcements.
Before Ardern hardly has time to utter the last syllable of the press gallery's favourite phrase – "happy to take any questions" – she is hit by a wall of noise.
Follow-up questions on her announcement, clarifications on some of the numbers, her reaction to Covid-19 developments overseas – there are seemingly limitless questions in a finite amount of time.
For those watching at home, it's chaotic and jarring. We talk over each other, we yell, we interrupt, we yell some more.
It may look rude, but it's necessary. There is essentially just one story in New Zealand at the moment: Covid-19.
There are numerous angles for media to follow and important stories of national significance to chase.
It might be our only chance to ask – often the Ministry of Health PR team won't take media questions and, instead, directs them to the 1pm press conference.
That means it's not just reporters in the theatrette who have their own questions – many also have questions to ask on behalf of their colleagues.
Take that, and multiply it by the number of news organisations in New Zealand and you start to get a sense of why we clamour over each other to get our questions in.
And often, these questions can appear quite repetitive and similar to someone watching from home but there is method to our madness.
Reporters decipher fact from spin; if we get an answer that's all spin, we ask again until we get to, or at least close to, the truth.
This can often take place over a number of days. Sometimes nothing changes. But sometimes things do.
After repeated questioning over a number of days about healthcare workers' access to personal protective equipment (PPE), the auditor general announced this week his office was going to investigate the issue.
The payoff for persistence far outweighs the angry Twitterati.
As of the last few weeks, Ardern has changed the rules of the game. It used to be whoever was the loudest won the eye of the Prime Minister and, thus, asked their question.
But recently, Ardern has been channelling her inner teacher – selecting which reporters get to ask questions with a gesture of the hand.
This has had mixed reviews within the gallery. Some think this is fairer and gives an opportunity for more reporters to ask questions.
Others think it robs reporters of the ability to ask important follow-up questions.
Ardern has been making more allowances for follow-up questions recently, as well as extending the length of time she stays to answer questions.
But unlike former Prime Minister John Key, Ardern has a practice of limiting the question time.
To beat that call of "last question" reporters have to try to get their questions in quickly rather than wait for others to be done.
To make matters harder for reporters, as Ardern shares the stage with Bloomfield there are twice as many questions to be asked, but not twice as much time.
Although often intense, the 1pm press conferences do have a softer, more comical side.
Last week, for example, I lost my trail of thought as the Prime Minister called on me for a question; I was in the middle of live filing for the Herald's website.
I forgot my question, I sheepishly told her (and the tens of thousands of people watching).
In a response that has now gone viral, Ardern quipped that she was "worried about my sleep".
At conference yesterday, Reporter forgot his Q. to NZ PM Jacinda Ardern. Here’s how it went:— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) April 14, 2020
• Jacinda: Justin
• Reporter: Sorry it doesn’t matter
• Jacinda: No problem..will come back to you...I do worry about your sleep atm, Justin pic.twitter.com/rovwRrfhyO
In the madness, these light-hearted moments are often missed by many at home.
But as the country stares down the barrel of another three weeks of near-daily press conferences, hopefully, people will decide to cut the country's most loathed essential workers a bit of slack.