It rarely takes long for ministers in a new government to discover the handy milliner in the Beehive.
That hat shop provides all manner of handy headwear to allow ministers to sidestep questions they do not want to answer or keep information away from the gaze of the Opposition – and the public.
Ministers are open to the Official Information Act and the questions of the Opposition on anything they say or do in their capacity as a minister, but they are immune from probing if they had a different hat on.
Prime Ministers have even more hats at their disposal: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern could be the PM, a minister, the leader of the Labour Party, the MP for Mt Albert or a private citizen.
There is much debate about the line between them all.
Former Prime Minister John Key was accused of the dance of seven hats when he was questioned about topics such as donations or his communications with Whaleoil blogger Cam Slater.
Key would simply say he was acting in a private capacity, or as leader of the National Party rather than as Prime Minister.
It turns out Labour is just as happy to plunder the milliner for a way out.
Two examples of convenient hat changes have arisen in recent times.
One was in a query from National Party MP Amy Adams for details of discussions Finance Minister Grant Robertson had with the Deputy Prime Minister about National's pre-Budget access to Treasury's website.
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Robertson replied that there had been no conversations with the Deputy Prime Minister, but he had conversed with the Leader of NZ First.
Both are Winston Peters but Robertson then ignored the rest of the request, presumably on the grounds Adams had not asked about the leader of NZ First.
That is pure game playing for the sake of it.
It seems a small thing. But that is the whole point.
Avoiding answers on a technicality indicates that despite its pledge to be the gold standard of accountability, even this Government will do the minimum required to be transparent where it suits.
Sometimes transparency comes a cropper to the joy of frustrating the Opposition, whether there is harm in releasing the information or not.
Other questions were dodged on the basis a State Services Inquiry was underway.
The second instance was around PM Jacinda Ardern's use of lobbyist Gordon Jon Thompson as her interim chief of staff when she first went into government.
Thompson went off active duty from his lobbying firm - Thompson Lewis - while he was setting up Ardern's office, a time period in which he also received Cabinet papers and appointed key staff.
At no time did Thompson disclose to Ardern who his clients were – the clients to whom he would be returning to work for once he wound up in Ardern's office.
The general gist of Ardern's defence was that Thompson was a mate of hers and so could be trusted.
It highlights the difficulty politicians have in applying the "if the shoe was on the other foot" test.
They tend to take the assumption everybody will see the "other side" as a bit dodgy, while they can get away with the same thing because they are beyond reproach.
National-aligned commentators have argued that had National employed one of its friendly lobbyists in the same circumstances, there would have been a riot of raised eyebrows.
They are not wrong.
Key rode through such criticisms untouched, as Ardern is now doing. Such issues rarely get resonance with the wider public.
That does not mean they should be ignored. Nor should they be overstated.
All governments have mixed records when it comes to transparency.
Labour would point to its decision to release ministerial diaries, listing meetings ministers had with their minister hats on.
There is no guarantee they are an exhaustive list. It has also increased the practice of proactively releasing Cabinet papers and background material, albeit sometimes with abundant use of the redact machine.
Key often stood accused of hiding behind his hat of National Party leader or private citizen.
But Key was also the Prime Minister who pushed through one of the biggest developments in accountability thus far – opening up the spending of ministers and, to a lesser extent, MPs to scrutiny.
Since 2009, the public have been able to see not only how much ministers are spending overall, but exactly what they use their credit cards for.
We can also see that they no longer use those cards to buy golf clubs or watch dubious videos in hotel rooms. It showed the value of sunlight.
It also shows, as Shane Jones will attest, that sometimes the best hat is a hard hat.