It is has been more than an unusual week for the two parties in the Coalition Government, New Zealand First and Labour.
"New Zealand First" comes first advisedly this week.
Leader Winston Peters again demonstrated his disproportionate power in this Government and his place in the pantheon of New Zealand politics.
In a captivating piece of political theatre on Thursday, in front of news executives and editors from NZME and Stuff - invited by his office - Peters ostensibly issued a statement of principle on the news media.
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It was a cleverly crafted statement by Peters' chief of staff and political scientist Jon Johansson and it articulated widely-held concerns about the effects of an industry under pressure from global giants.
Labour was not blind-sided by the statement.
But effectively Peters pre-announced Government policy giving conditional support for a renewed bid by NZME to buy Stuff - which the relevant Labour minister, Kris Faafoi, has yet to take to cabinet.
New Zealand First had been a blockage to that cabinet move and, if approval goes ahead, it will now be seen as a champion for regional newspapers and jobs in journalism.
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Incidentally, Peters again voiced his intolerance to any suggestion that Labour runs the Government - formally objecting in Parliament on Wednesday to the use of the term "Labour Government" by a National MP.
Although the word Labour dare not be mentioned in the Beehive, it does exist and it was to have been an incredibly big week for the party.
The importance of Wednesday December 11 to Labour's re-election had been hyped almost daily since the party conference in Whanganui two weeks ago when the first big infrastructure announcement was made.
By the time the big infrastructure spending announcements were made on December 11, it barely entered the public's consciousness, mainly because of the magnitude of the White Island disaster.
In a new version of the dance of the seven veils, Grant Robertson will reveal the projects in the New Year including the $6.8 billion in transport projects - and including roads - that will soak up the bulk of the $12 billion new spend.
The Peters statement on the media and Robertson's yet to be announced projects both represent big shifts in perceived position, if not actual positions of the two parties.
Labour is perceived to be against big new roading projects because it cancelled so many of National's and cynically dubbed state highway one to Whangarei the "holiday highway."
The changes have been driven largely by considering the counter-factual – and reframing the issues.
Labour had been willing to consider the NZME-Stuff merger but New Zealand First was the obstacle.
The Auckland-based lobbying firm Thompson Lewis, which is loaded with former high-ranking Beehive staffers, was engaged to help put the case to Peters and his most trusted advisers.
The case was made and accepted.
The media landscape has changed markedly since the Court of Appeal in 2017 upheld the Commerce Commission's refusal to allow the NZME-Stuff merger.
Politically, the prospect of Labour being able to point the finger at New Zealand First in the event of massive lay-offs of journalists in the New Year was a real possibility.
Labour would not have done so publicly, but there is no doubt that that narrative could have taken hold because it would be true.
Peters was then able to reframe the issue not in terms of helping foreign-owned media corporates with their boardroom takeovers – his natural stance - but in terms of saving jobs and iconic mastheads in regional New Zealand.
News media has such an influence on a country and region's identity that it was not surprising his caucus of mainly regionally-based MPs backed the position.
It is not a done deal, however, and there is still negotiation as to how specific any KiwiShare would be.
What may be relevant is Peters' full written statement to see what his wider expectations are, even if they are not all spelled out in a document.
There are parts of the statement that he did not read out in his Beehive presentation but which amount to expectations of vigilance against any influence by China on New Zealand-based media.
"Any offshore editorial influence in any media entity should be regarded with deep concern," he said.
He also applauded examples of New Zealand websites "prepared to tackle the difficult issue of foreign influence."
He did not mention titles or names but it was intended to send a signal to media executives about the Chinese Herald, which has been accused of being too Beijing-aligned.
It may be because Peters is also Foreign Minister that he chose not to utter the words about China in the statement rather constraints on time.
Giving a position statement as Peters did is a good idea when a party so clearly makes a change from the perceived wisdom of its position.
We wont expect the same treatment from Labour when it announces which roading projects it will fast track because that would require it to even acknowledge a perception it has been against new roads.
The change has been forced by several factors: the need to stimulate a slowing economy, a plea from business leaders, and the fact that National has continued to effectively campaign for the roading projects it promised during the 2017 election campaign.
Without making a major change in spending priorities, Labour's chances of a second term would be reduced.
Projects such as Penlink, Tauranga's Northern link, or the Melling interchange could again find themselves in favour but Labour will want to be in the driver's seat.
One thing Labour can be sure of, however, is that is wont find any resistance from New Zealand First on that change of course.