A man walks into a bar, the Morningside Tavern, as it happens.
And who should he see - on almost any Monday afternoon these days - but Team Tamihere.
It has become the HQ away from HQ of John Tamihere's eclectic team campaigning for the Auckland mayoralty.
It includes legendary left-wing organiser Matt McCarten and National Party, PR doyenne Michelle Boag, and former Sunday News journalist turned Waipareira communications manager Joe Lose.
They meet for a few hours to assess the previous week and to plan ahead.
"They are the core worker bees," Tamihere says.
On this most recent Monday, they were joined by James Polhill, who runs a public relations company with former "housewife of Auckland" Gilda Kirkpatrick.
McCarten controls the "architecture" of the campaign, runs the organisation on the street and organises volunteers, Tamihere says.
"Matt's job is to work the old Labour side of town and Michelle's is to work the old National side for us."
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"She brings fierceness to her position and point of view. Equally, Matt does."
Once Tamihere had decided to stand, he moved quickly to get them both on board.
They both had "significant and deep networks" across Auckland.
Tamihere says Polhill's is among several companies that have pitched to be part of the team.
Polhill and Kirkpatrick were "pretty well entrenched in Auckland business and politics because they are a boutique type of PR firm."
Tamihere said they would be making a decision shortly about any working relationship.
The tavern is tucked into a street behind New North Rd and St Luke's shopping centre in a suburb many would recognise as Kingsland.
But if the provenance tale on the tavern's website is to be believed, it was part of a subdivision in 1865 and named Morningside after the land-seller's nickname, which was acquired from a "lunatic asylum" in Edinburgh.
Tamihere's actual campaign HQ are not far away in a building previously used by Jacinda Ardern, Mt Albert MP. But that does come with her party's blessings.
Labour has not only endorsed the mayoral incumbent and former Labour leader Phil Goff over Tamihere, a former Labour Party Minister, but it has refused to accept the renewal of his party membership.
Tamihere blames the loss of his Tamaki Makaurau seat in 2005 on Labour's Foreshore and Seabed legislation, which he was forced to defend at hui around the country.
McCarten and Tamihere go back to the 1980s when both were Labour Party members and McCarten was part of the breakaway with Jim Anderton to form the Alliance.
McCarten thrives on campaigning.
In the King Country byelection in 1998, classic McCarten antics captured the headlines, such as the giant chicken-suited person who turned up to election meetings to taunt National and Labour candidates, and crosses on lawns to denote hospital closures under National and Labour.
By the time Tamihere made it to Parliament, in 1999, McCarten was Alliance president and deeply involved in the machinations of coalition Government with, among others, Willie Jackson, one of Tamihere's closest mates and who is now back in Parliament as a Labour minister.
The tables have turned somewhat for Tamihere and McCarten.
Floating around in cyber space is a press statement from the turn of the century issued by Tamihere and Jackson, endorsing McCarten for the Auckland mayoralty.
McCarten's two mates had organised a line-up of Auckland's finest Māori leaders at Te Puni Kokiri of all places (a Government department) to back McCarten's bid.
His informal HQ was the Lenin bar on the Auckland waterfront and his run was a way to keep Alliance policies in front of voters at a time many felt they were being overwhelmed by Labour – and possibly to annoy Anderton and Labour.
It was a successful enough campaign for McCarten to win 14.62 per cent of the vote, behind incumbent Christine Fletcher, Tamihere's running mate this time, with 29.37 per cent and the victor, John Banks, with 43.6 per cent.
There were plenty of campaigns ahead, however.
McCarten helped the Māori Party to get established after Tariana Turia broke away from the Labour Party.
Then he helped Hone Harawira break away from the Māori Party to form the Mana Movement.
Then, despite being diagnosed with cancer, or perhaps because of it, McCarten stood in the Mana byelection in 2010 as an independent.
In 2014, in a shock move, Labour leader David Cunliffe invited McCarten soon after meeting him to become his chief of staff in election year.
McCarten stayed on in the role for 18 months after Andrew Little was elected leader then shifted back to Auckland.
Tamihere's history with Boag is almost the same vintage. He has clear memories of her from 2001 and 2002 when she successfully challenged John Slater for the presidency of the National Party and set about getting rid of "the deadwood" in the caucus.
"That was one of the kinder terms I heard her say."
"I've always had a sneaking admiration for her courage," Tamihere says.
"She is not from the rich side of town. She was born and bred in Glen Eden."
"She didn't come from a moneyed background. She didn't come from a privileged background. She is a West Auckland scrapper. People forget that and they don't appreciate where she comes from.
"She is formidable is regards to doing what she thinks is the right direction and the right way."
Boag has been involved in National Party since the 1970s when she worked for Prime Minister Rob Muldoon as press secretary and has been a life-long activist and somewhat polarising.
While she presided over National's worst result in history in 2002, she had also brought in Don Brash on the list. He came within a whisker of leading the party back to government in 2005.
Boag is close to former National strategist Murray McCully and Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye and has had a long history with Auckland local government.
Last local election, she and Kaye unsuccessfully backed Vic Crone against Phil Goff's bid to become mayor.
Tamihere says this time Boag and Fletcher between them had one focus.
"They have got to bring the vote out from the leafy suburbs which undoubtedly they can get. My job is to win certain parts of this town off Phil and I will do that.
"My job and Matt's job is to lift voter turnout.
"All we have got to do is lift voter turnout across the city. That will happen because we have got a bit of a colourful contest going on."
He said had voted for Phil Goff last time. So had Chris Fletcher.
"We anticipate about 75,000 right-of-centre votes voted for Phil. I don't think that is going to happen again.
"We are playing to two constituencies that normally never merge and that requires a new set of thinking rather than the old C and R and City Vision, that nonsense."
Today, Tamihere is heading out to markets in Manurewa where he has no doubt his campaign will be signing up plenty of volunteers for the next steps before the vote in October.
Exactly what that constitutes is yet to be debated by McCarten and Boag at more meetings at the Morningside Tavern. But Tamihere has faith in their professionalism.
"When you brought those two together, they are quite formidable campaigners.
"They are scrappers. They are stayers. Once they commit, they stay the course. That is something you need.
"You need loyalty and courage. They have got that is spades."