As far as celebrations go, the Prime Minister's dance around the living room and Health boss Dr Ashley Bloomfield's "broad smile" may seem muted responses to the end of most Covid-19 restrictions.
Those were the reactions the pair reported having to the news that the last Covid-19 case in New Zealand had recovered.
That news landed with them on Sunday night. The next day, Cabinet agreed to the inevitable: the decision to move to level 1, effective as at 11.59pm last night.
It is a time for celebration – but Ardern and Bloomfield were both at pains to ensure the celebration was muted because of what still remained.
The first caveat was a warning they expected cases of Covid-19 to pop up again.
Ardern repeated that line twice.
That did not mean a return to lockdown – if those people were in quarantine it would make no difference.
The second caveat was that "life as normal" still had a big hole in it.
Yes, New Zealanders can stand as close to each other as they like again, sports and big events can start in earnest, restaurants and pubs can pack themselves to the rafters.
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However, the one remaining restriction is not a small one: the borders remaining all but closed and quarantine deterring those who might otherwise come here.
Level 1 is much better than level 2, but it is still no easy ride while New Zealand waits it out.
Businesses will still be reliant on New Zealanders for their keep, not the spending of travellers.
The first tranche of wage subsidies ends this week – the second tranche will apply for a further eight weeks. New Zealand businesses relying on them will be hoping and praying the borders start to ease by then.
Ardern has said the Government is looking at allowing international students and overseas workers back in, but it was too soon to say when that might happen.
Ardern also sent a direct message to offices and Government departments to get their staff back to the office to try to revive flagging CBDs. Working from home was not conducive to the recovery.
If Australia does not get to the point of a "transtasman bubble" soon, the calls to do a runaway bride and try another suitor will increase.
However, after weeks of clamouring to move down the levels faster there was little for other political parties to say beyond relitigating the past and trying to take some credit.
They included NZ First, whose leader Winston Peters had agitated all week about his desire to move to level 1 sooner. Asked if Peters had been a factor, Ardern was quick to say "not at all".
The number of zeroes was the factor: zero cases for 17 days, zero active cases for one day. Community transmission: zero.
Count Dracula would be the only one who found New Zealand a most disappointing place to be.
Opposition MPs will have more to say about the other zeroes in the equation in due course.
Those zeroes are the billions of dollars in spending and debt Covid-19 has required, and the tens of thousands of unemployed.
But yesterday National Party leader Todd Muller rightly stuck to saying that it was a moment for New Zealanders to take "quiet satisfaction for a job well done" – and the ramifications could be digested tomorrow.
Act leader David Seymour called for an immediate halt to the "self-congratulation", and repeated his oft-used argument that the PM was wrong to say New Zealand went "hard and early".
He may as well have been howling at the moon: whatever the "might have beens", it had worked.