It was not so much the strange case of the man of the cloth as the odd cut of the man's cloth.
Not for David Clark the safety of a staid pinstripe suit for the swearing-in ceremony on the first day of New Zealand's 51st Parliament.
Making a fashion statement akin to Rodney Hide's infamous shocking canary-yellow ensemble, the Labour MP had instead donned a vivid (some might say lurid) red silk jacket for the occasion, thereby if nothing else making a nonsense of the stereotypical image of Presbyterians - he was a minister in that church for a time - and Dunedinites as somewhat dour.
The country's three senior judges (from front) Dame Sian Elias, Justice Ellen France and Justice Helen Winkelmann. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Everybody else in the chamber could have melded into anonymity at a bankers' convention. The Dunedin North MP had the look of a very different sort of banker - the kind who deal the cards at blackjack tables in Las Vegas.
Clark insists he was merely promoting the Dunedin fashion industry. But his choice of garment may also have been a sympathy vote for the other oddly attired players involved in getting a new Parliament up and running.
The country's three most senior judges are required to be present as "commissioners" representing the Governor-General, who does not "think it fit to be present". The said judges all happen to be women. One thing was for sure. Dressed in heavy thick red robes and fully wigged, they were not promoting anyone's fashion industry.
Their job was to read out a series of proclamations in ye olde Englishe which no one understands, ordering this and that to happen.
That done, like the three witches in Macbeth, they were off. It was a wise move, as the next hour or so was spent swearing in each member. The tedium was relieved only by everyone holding their own competition as to which of their fellow MPs had the most embarrassing middle name.
This year's clear winner was Te Atatu MP, Phil Stoner Twyford. He later explained that "Stoner" was his mother's maiden name and had its pluses for an MP representing part of West Auckland.
This was followed by the election of the new Speaker - unsurprisingly the Speaker in the last Parliament, David Carter. For some long-forgotten reason the Speaker-elect is supposed to display reluctance about taking the job and has to be dragged to the chair by a couple of other MPs - strange really, given the Speaker's salary is about $120,000 more than the $147,800 paid to ordinary MPs.
The package also includes a self-contained flat within the parliamentary complex. The downside is that Winston Peters also comes with the job. Yesterday, he made his feelings about Carter clear by nominating Ron Mark, one of his MPs, for Speaker.
Mark secured the grand total of 13 votes, just heading off the Greens' 12 abstentions but falling somewhat short of the 91 recorded by Carter.
Peters then proceeded to mercilessly heckle Act's new and lone MP, David Seymour, as the latter was delivering a brief and uncontentious pro forma speech congratulating Carter on his reappointment.
Seymour seemed both mildly stunned and somewhat puzzled for being singled out.
For everyone else it meant only one thing - normal parliamentary business had resumed.