Party conferences afford NZ First leader Winston Peters the rare opportunity to shed his ministerial hats and revert to what he knows best: pugilistic defiance.
So it was that his party's conference in Christchurch delivered up two Winstons – Winston Unleashed, and Winston the Statesman.
Day One delivered Winston Unleashed.
In his brief opening speech, it was little surprise the targets of his attacks were those he had long deemed as his enemies: the media and National.
Winston's attacks are such a time-worn technique they barely deserve commenting on.
But Peters had to show his base he was still what he was, and had not had his head turned by the Prime Minister's kindness mantra, or what he once called the baubles of office.
Where his tirades did cut a bit close was his "joke" about Newshub's plight as it faces sale or potential closure.
Peters' jibe that it was "good riddance" for some of the journalists had the air of the dragon slayer with his foot on the head of his felled rival.
Peters can be forgiven some of this – many in the media have rubbed in his own struggles with political existence.
But in this case the party that claims to stand for jobs was rubbing its hands with glee as 500 jobs hung in the balance.
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Sunday delivered Winston the Statesman.
Behind him on the stage stood placards the old United Future would have been proud of, carrying the words "Balanced. Effective. Common Sense."
Peters' goal was to highlight what he has described as the dual role of NZ First in pushing reforms it thinks are a good idea, and pegging back on those that aren't.
The overall aim was to pitch NZ First as a necessary force in keeping the bigger parties under control, and as the only reasonable people in Parliament.
He set out the things NZ First had done, and, more importantly, what it had stopped, such as such as a capital gains tax and industrial relations reforms.
There was an occasional interruption of Winston the Statesman by Winston Unleashed.
He again dedicated much of the speech to attacking National.
Having invited the public in the hopes of getting a heckler, he promptly accused the one man who did interrupt of being a National Party plant.
The man had asked why the police were leaving Darfield and Lincoln despite Peters' boast of more police.
There was a slightly odd post-World War moment, when Peters proposed the radical concept of women taking on jobs in the trades such as carpentry.
Such jobs, apparently, were currently the preserve of men but Peters reckoned women could be used instead of immigrants to fill skills shortages. Ladies, grab your drills.
On the topic Peters loves to hate – the polls – he insisted his own history in picking the election of US President Donald Trump, the Brexit referendum, and Australian PM Scott Morrison's win made him more of an expert than the pollsters.
Then there is the wearying tradition of casting out lines to try to get people to interpret whether he could work with National.
On this front there were mixed messages but much splashing about of accusations of National's neo-liberalism and "fake news".
The obvious conclusion from them all was that if Peters had a choice, he would only work with National if Sir Robert Muldoon returned from the beyond and took over the party again.
If those pollsters prove him wrong, he may find his bigger problem is whether he is there to make a choice at all.