A shop in Wellington's Lyall Bay provides "loser" plates: old fashioned, pretty china plates with blunt, sweary messages written on them in pretty text.
One of Finance Minister Grant Robertson's staffers considered buying one for Robertson's office door with the words: "No. There is no f*** money."
This year, it is only overly optimistic Labour ministers traipsing into that office with their wishlists for the Budget.
Six months into Labour's second term, Grant Robertson is about to deliver his first Budget as a Labour-only Government.
None of it will have to cater to the whims and demands of other parties, beyond a polite nod to the Green Party. If he wanted to, Robertson could have delivered his dream Budget. He is no longer hampered by coalition partners, or the Fiscal Responsibility Rules he signed up to before 2017. Covid-19 saw the end of those.
While the 2020 Budget was almost solely focused on Covid-19 measures, he has more latitude this time round to pursue other dreams.
"Covid-19 will still have a significant influence on the Budget, but obviously we are moving into the recovery and rebuild phase. So there will be a balance."
There is a bit less than $10 billion left in the Covid-19 fund, some of which will be used for recovery measures while leaving enough to cater for any future outbreaks. The cost of vaccines is also coming out of that package.
Robertson says there will also be initiatives aimed at Labour's priority areas (housing, climate change and child poverty). But it will also be something of a map for the next two Budgets.
"I will continue to be consistent and balanced in the way we put Budgets out, but I do want to make sure in this Budget we are giving people an indication of our plans across the term so they can see areas where we want to make progress. I think it's important for people to be able to see the direction we are going in."
Life has been a bit easier for Robertson in the last six months compared to the three-party arrangements of the last term.
But Robertson is also clearly conscious of the risk a perception could set in that Labour is abusing its majority.
"In practical terms, it means our consultation process is significantly easier. When you had two parties we had to consult about pretty much most policy initiatives, it definitely took longer. It has definitely allowed for swifter processing.
"But we are very aware of the fact we are the first single-party government under MMP, and so we want to make sure we continue to do the right thing, we get the right advice and we take our time over difficult and sensitive issues. We don't want to give that away."
Asked what Labour has been able to do that it could not have last term, he points to measures such as allowing temporary visa holders to access a benefit.
There have, however, also been tricky "consultations" within Labour itself.
It is relatively well known that Robertson and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had a difference of opinion about the capital gains tax. After NZ First blocked it in Labour's first term, Ardern wanted to rule it out for evermore, Robertson wanted to keep the option alive. Ardern won, and ruled out moving on it while she was Prime Minister. Robertson downplays the suggestion of any real conflict over it.
"I wouldn't overstate any policy differences between the PM and myself."
"We have an awful lot in common, and we share a world view and political view. But that does not mean we are going to agree on every single policy initiative."
"If the Prime Minister and I differ on a specific issue we might go away and sit down and have a glass of wine or beer or whisky and have a chat about it, but most of those policy decisions are ones Cabinet makes as a whole."
He took the capital gains tax argument loss on the chin. "We moved on pretty quickly, and the idea there is a silver bullet that is somehow going to solve the housing crisis is not something I accept."
Back in 2016, former prime minister Sir Bill English revoked Sir John Key's similar promise not to raise the retirement age – but Robertson does not dare to answer whether he would revoke the PM's position in the event she was abducted by aliens and he took over.
"I am confident the PM is going to be here for some time."
Instead, Robertson turned to other tools to try to dampen investor demand: extending the bright-line test, and the more controversial unheralded step of removing tax deductibility from loans on residential properties.
Being a one-party Government has increased the expectation among Labour's supporters to deliver on reform.
Robertson says he is an advocate of "enduring change" rather than fast change. "That is a combination of doing the right thing at the right time, but in a way it will stick. You've already seen in this six-month period in an area like housing, we've taken on some big challenges and made what I think are bold steps. So we can make those sorts of changes."
Robertson says the three areas people can expect to see a lot more from Labour in this term are housing, climate change and child wellbeing.
"They are the three areas New Zealand has big, long term challenges where we do need policies that are going to truly reform and transform."
He also points to the reforms already underway in health, resource management laws, and water. "I think we can do all those things. It's a big policy agenda, but they are ones that will make a big difference."
Covid-19 helped build Robertson's reputation as an agile and thoughtful manager of money.
The speed and agility with which Robertson put up the wage subsidies package and other business assistance packages earned him glowing reports from chief executives in last year's NZ Herald Mood of the Boardroom.
During his first term, Robertson's caution even led to him being labelled a "fiscal conservative" –mainly by those who wished he would open up the purse strings a bit more.
However, in recent times Robertson has been described as "Muldoonist" and a megalomaniac by Opposition leaders and some business voices. National has described it as Labour's "centralise and control ideology".
There has also been an increased appetite for centralisation: from shifting decisions on fluoridation of water from the DHBs to the director general of health, to polytechnics and water, to the decision to scrap the DHBS altogether in favour of a national health service.
One of the issues prompting the "Muldoonist" tag was Robertson's direction to Air NZ that the Government would take a more hands-on role, wanted to appoint its own board members.
Then came the signal the Government could involve itself in instructing the Reserve Bank on setting loan restrictions. There were directions to entities such as the Super Fund and ACC, to get rid of investments in things such as coal and gas.
Asked if ideologue Grant was now overtaking the fiscally cautious Grant, Robertson laughs and says he rejects both labels.
"I see myself as a progressive when it comes to fiscal matters. It's important we get the balance right between doing the spending and investment we need to do and also being fiscally careful. But we can be progressive in that. I think I showed that through Covid. Yes, you save for a rainy day, but when the rainy day arrives you act. I feel like that's what I've done."
The grim economic forecasts of a year ago have not come to pass – but Robertson says things are far from stable.
"I generally don't wake in cold sweats at night, but I am very aware of the volatility of the global economy. There is still a long way to go in Covid-19, and even in the New Zealand economy we've seen quarterly changes that have been dramatic.
"Overall, the recovery story is a good one and we have to keep supporting that but there will definitely be volatility in the coming months and possibly into next year as well."
In 2019, Robertson dubbed his Budget the "Wellbeing Budget" but Covid-19 was not interested and so the 2020 Budget was the Covid Budget. It could also have been the Zeroes Budget – due to the number of zeroes in the debt Robertson announced would be drawn down, in the deficits for years and years ahead, and in the cost of contending with Covid-19.
He has not yet dared to give this year's Budget a name. "It will be a good Budget," is all he will venture.