For a sitting of Parliament, it was unusual in a number of ways.
Firstly there were windows and an outside world beyond. That world, as seen from Te Hāpua School, showed not a dreary Wellington day but sun above the Far North's Parengarenga Harbour.
Secondly, Parliament's Speaker Trevor Mallard was able to exercise control without an unhealthy red creeping up from the neck. It's an easier task when your Parliament acts like children - and they actually are.
This was the Speaker's Outreach Tour, which had come to the Far North on its mission to invest in our newest generations a taste of debate and democracy through role play and debate.
Here at Te Hāpua School, a classroom was organised to provide Parliament's debating chamber. At one end, a large photographic canvas of the chamber was erected across a frame. Chairs for the politicians had cloth sleeves across the back, marking out roles in Government and Opposition.
Mallard, in ceremonial wig and robes, was led in by a Sergeant-at-Arms complete with a replica of the official mace (carefully drawn onto paper, cut out and stuck to a long ruler).
Then Parliament got down to work.
The proposed law up for debate was the banning of single-use plastic bags. Prime Minister Tia Waenga kicked off with a call to end the disposable convenience, rejected by Opposition leader Connor Sproats with a short speech on their practical uses.
"If you don't mind, I'm going to take the wig off," says Mallard, once debate got under way. "The wig is hot and scratchy."
In Wellington's Parliament, the Speaker stopped wearing a wig outside formal occasions in 1999. The pomp of Parliament has increasingly shrugged off formality, but never more so than since Mallard took on the role.
The Outreach programme is one such move. It started in South Auckland in 2018. This time, for the first time, it was an overnight trip courtesy of the visit to Te Hāpua.
This tiny community of 150 (on a good day, in summer) is right at the top end of the North Island. At the point the final leg to Cape Reinga begins, you turn right towards Spirits Bay then again, at that sign post, you keep on to the right.
Isolated barely begins to describe it. The drive for groceries - aside from a few staples at Waitiki Landing's petrol station - is an hour down State Highway 1 to Pukenui. For those attending Kaitaia College, it's a daily return bus trip that can take four hours.
It's the furthest reaches of Labour MP Willow-Jean Prime's electorate. She was along, as was National MP Barbara Kuriger, whose own Taranaki-King Country electorate is no stranger to remote.
As far away as it is, Te Hāpua knows distance and size is no bar to effecting change. The Labour Party's legendary Minister of Māori Affairs, Matiu Rata, was born here. His biography sits in the trophy cabinet in the staff room, where kids zip through for breakfast. He attended here when it was called Te Hāpua Māori School, an aged sign still declaring it so on the side of a classroom.
This was where the 1975 Land March began, led by Dame Whina Cooper. Ngāti Kuri kuia Saana Murray, born here in 1925, marched alongside her in just one of many shots fired across the Government's bows.
So, Te Hāpua knows how to turn Wellington on its ear.
It was Murray's son Ben Waitai who led the welcome when school began. He had thought of delivering a whakataukī about how a disoriented fish will come right and swim straight after a tap to the head.
He decided not to. It wasn't that kind of a visit. "When we go to Wellington, we're the ones giving a tap to the head," he said afterwards.
That wasn't the only moment when discretion found its place. Kuriger and Prime were to sit among the children on either side of the classroom Parliament. There were no political parties, just Government and Opposition. Kuriger, ahead of Prime when she walked into the classroom, looked at the seats and said quietly, "I know which side I want to sit on", and then didn't.
Back in the classroom, the debate on plastic bags was gaining momentum from a faltering base. Once plastic bags were linked to littering and danger to sea life, it was a topic every child in this coastal community could speak on.
"Do you know," interjected Peiyton Neho, 5, with a voice bolder and stronger than others, "last time me and my brother went fishing we caught a big snapper? On my rod."
The divide between Government and Opposition was weakening. Those around Kuriger were starting to speak in favour of banning plastic bags. Opposition leader Connor tried to gamely rally his MPs but the cause was slipping away. Mallard called a vote and the "ayes" had it - single-use plastic bags would be banned.
Questions followed, and the MPs answered. Mallard told the children how much he earned (gasps), Prime talked about how government has a real effect on people's lives through lunches in schools and period poverty.
And Kuriger? She spoke to how "none of us want our plastic to go to the sea" and how there was much on which the children agreed. It was like Parliament's select committees, she said, where MPs focus less on partisan politics and more on making a difference to which all agree.
Then Poroa Reardon asked the question to which he very much wanted an answer.
"Mr Speaker, is it lunch time now?" And it was.