Shane Jones is having a flush of voter-imposed humility.
It is almost a week since he and NZ First were unceremoniously cast out of Parliament by the voters and Jones is preparing to leave his office on the Beehive's 6th floor.
The walls are bare, the drawers are empty, and he and wife Dot Jones have packed up their Wellington flat and sent the boxes off on a trailer.
The Three Billion Dollar Man, the self-proclaimed Champion of the Regions, has been felled by those regions. He came a very distant third in the Northland seat.
It is little wonder Jones is having a rare bout of humility.
When Jones joined NZ First back in 2017, he was seen as a likely successor for party leader Winston Peters.
The question now is whether there will be anything to inherit.
Jones has spoken to Peters but does not know what his plans are.
"The man is the movement, the movement is the man so there is a big question mark as to where to from here."
Asked if that means he does not think the party could survive without Peters at the helm, Jones says they will not know until they try.
"Winston, when he was adzed, there was no replica.
"No one can replace Winston.
"But do I think there is a role for a NZ First party? Yes, I do."
On whether he would want to lead it, he said he had not yet turned his mind to that question. It could be Peters was still the best option, or a new face "untarnished by Parliament's bumps and grinds" or a woman such as Tracey Martin.
"But first, we need to deeply understand why 98 per cent of the voters looked at us and walked on by. This centrist provincial party was rejected by 98 per cent of voters. There is a monumental message there."
He said it was clear the voters had decided a one-party Government was best for the uncertain times New Zealand was facing.
He had no sympathy for National, which suffered a similar blow to NZ First.
He put that down to the decision to roll Simon Bridges.
"That was foolish. They had no better options. I wouldn't write him off [to get the leadership again]. And I bet he hasn't written himself off either."
Jones remembered his re-entry to Parliament as a NZ First MP in 2017 after a few years as an ambassador.
Then, NZ First was the kingmaker. Now it is not even a pawn.
Jones realised in the last week the polls were not budging, and the game was likely up.
He has no real appetite for picking over the entrails of that campaign, but asked if he took any responsibility for the loss, he acknowledged some saw him as arrogant.
"If you look at Facebook feedback, for the minority of people who got something from my style of politics there were a host of others who tell me they found my language too combative and they felt there was too much of a swagger in my style.
"To the extent that alienated people, I have to take some responsibility.
"But I'm not sure it was down to my personality. There was just a sweep and that tide went straight past our door step."
Jones was also criticised by some for the flow of Provincial Growth Fund announcements, especially in Northland, leading up to the election.
Asked if the apparent pork barrel move might have harmed rather than helped, Jones said that was more media hype than the reality on the ground.
The fund remained something he was proud of, despite the criticism of it.
It will likely be significantly downgraded now Labour is in charge.
"There are a lot of green shoots growing out there in the regions, and up north. So in that regard I am immensely proud of what I did."
He has no regrets about returning to Parliament under the NZ First banner after his earlier career as a Labour MP.
"It has been the most colourful and satisfying ride. It made all the bleak times in politics worthwhile."
He has made enemies along the way.
The corporates he took delight in using as a punching bag will probably not miss him – or employ him.
They included Air NZ, several banks, Fonterra, and Spark, whose former CEO Simon Moutter took some delight in welcoming his fellow CEO's to the hall of Jones' fame.
Jones' own plans are up in the air, but he says he has had careers out of politics before and has no worries about finding another.
"To the extent people took offence at the various attacks and forays, that is just politics. If anyone is nursing grievances against me or NZ First, release yourself from that burden."
He reminisces on all "the noses I punched, metaphorically".
One of them was Pania Newton, the staunch defender of Ihumātao.
He dismissively called Newton "our young putiputi [flower]" while accusing her of grandstanding. He later apologised.
Jones can at least find some humour in the irony of their respective fortunes now. Now NZ First is gone, so too has the "handbrake" on a deal for Ihumātao.
"Now the putiputi will flourish and Shane Jones is like some misshapen mangrove tree, and the tide has gone out on him."
So he signed out, with one last metaphor and reference to himself in the third person.