Parliament has come in for some bad press lately as departing MPs reflect on their experiences in what can be an unforgiving environment.
But it can also be an extraordinary environment, not least in times of national crisis.
Nothing has come close to matching the importance of the House as it sat a few days after the mosque massacre in March 2019 in which 51 people were murdered.
The inter-faith ceremony organised by Speaker Trevor Mallard served as an expression of unity and grief, as did the speech that followed by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
It was a uniquely moving time.
Obituaries and conscience issues often bring out the best in the House as well. Tributes to former Labour leader and Prime Minister Mike Moore in February went beyond the ordinary because he was known to many.
The House also came together in a sense of unity of purpose as the country was about to move into lockdown in March, with Covid-19 having reached New Zealand.
The House was eerily half-empty as social distancing was being exercised in the chamber but there was almost a sense of being on a war footing.
Opposition leader Simon Bridges joined the Government in supporting the lockdown, having hit a dud note the previous week when he criticised the "ideological" response of the Government for increasing social welfare benefits in part of a $12 billion response package.
Bridges had a testy relationship with Mallard who was frequently accused of bias against Bridges and accused of protecting Ardern from the Opposition.
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Mallard himself has had a mixed term: he has made the chamber more child-friendly for MPs who are parents of infants and he has tried to make Question Time flow more.
However he turns out to be the person who interrupts it most, often to the puzzlement of the House.
As outgoing MP Clare Curran noted this week, he threw her out of the House but she still doesn't know why.
The debating chamber itself can make or break a minister as Curran found out the hard way.
She faced her Opposition counterpart, Melissa Lee, in Question Time and harsh commentary from media at her performance.
She eventually stepped down as a minister, citing the pressure.
In her valedictory, she described New Zealand's political culture as "toxic" and the political system as "sick".
But, as she herself acknowledged, the system is also about tribes and one tribe's triumph is another's pain.
But the good far outweighs the bad. My best and worst in the House of the past term:
It may have been one of the worst moments for the Government last year but the week of the so-called Budget leak in 2019 was undoubtedly one of the finest moments for National this term, and its then leader, Simon Bridges.
The careless security of the Treasury's cyber systems allowed some parts of the Budget to be accessed by a simple search on its website.
It allowed Bridges to derail the much-anticipated "Wellbeing Budget" and to use it to paint a narrative of incompetent Government in subsequent Question Times.
Iain Lees Galloway
The very ex-Workplace Relations Minister showed how a minister who has been ignominiously fired should leave Parliament – with no excuses and his dignity intact.
His valedictory speech on Tuesday was perfectly pitched to rehabilitate himself for life after politics.
He apologised to his family for the pain his sacking had put them through, accepted his sacking as a lesson to others about how standards have changed and how it is no longer acceptable to have an affair with a staffer.
He even managed to get in a joke about New Zealand First: "At the beginning of the term, I could never have guessed that I would be the Immigration Minister who closed the border. I mean I knew we were in Coalition with NZ First, but it still never crossed my mind."
The Finance Minister is not expected to be electrifying in the House. In fact cool, calm and stable is almost compulsory for that role.
But Robertson is also one of Labour's best House performers as he showed in the free-for-all general debate when he gave a hilarious speech about Paula Bennett giving political mimick Tom Sainsbury the heads-up on her retirement ahead of then leader Todd Muller.
"She thought about who to tell first and she scrolled through her address book until she reached the letter 't' and she found her options: Tom, Todd or Tova."
Even Bennett found it funny.
In June 2018, David Parker faced some serious allegations in the media about a possible exemption for a Mangawhai land development to the foreign-buyers ban the Government was implementing in the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill.
National's finance spokeswoman at the time, Amy Adams, used Question Time to dig deep into the reasons for the recommendation for an exemption. It was like a courtroom drama unfolding.
She asked good and legitimate questions, Speaker Trevor Mallard let the questions flow without the nit-picking that goes on too often.
In the end, Parker turned out not to be the villain and cleared his own name through honest answers.
The current National leader spent the first half of the parliamentary term forensically grilling Phil Twyford in the House over Kiwibuild and the gulf between what was promised year by year and the delivery and he lost the portfolio.
But perhaps Collins' finest moment in the House came during the second reading of the End of Life Choice Bill when pathos replaced her steely demeanour and she recounted her father's final hours and why she had changed her mind on the issue.
New Zealand First's Tracey Martin made a big impact with a speech calling for changes to abortion laws, explaining why it had been personal to her. Her grandmother had died in a back-street abortion.
Leader of the House is the person who ensures the smooth running of the House for the Government and Chris Hipkins may be doing that well now but he had a shocker of a start.
The day the Speaker was due to be elected in 2017, National realised that many MPs from Government parties were absent, too many for Labour to be assured that Trevor Mallard would get enough votes. So the horse-trading began, on the floor of the House, in full public view.
Labour could not afford to be humiliated on the first day of the parliamentary sitting and gave way to National's demands to secure more members and chairmanship of select committees.
Trevor Mallard and Nick Smith
The clashes between the Speaker Trevor Mallard, and the longest continuing serving MP, Nick Smith, are too numerous to count and never pleasant to watch.
It usually involves a breach of standing orders by Smith, and a level of intolerance to Smith that is palpable. Together, they give Parliament a bad name.
The New Zealand First veteran used parliamentary privilege and the general debate recently to outline his suspicions on how information on his overpayment of superannuation had found its way to the media last election campaign.
Peters himself made it public when he heard that several news outlets had the information.
His speech comprised a long list of people and motives that seemed to have everything except the grassy knoll. The challenge for him to repeat it outside the House went unmet.