"Three more years!" they chanted, as all big government parties do at their election rallies, but it's been a while since Labour got to do it, a long while since the Labour faithful have had the chance to be so unabashedly happy. On Saturday, they filled the Auckland town hall with it.
Tami Neilson sang and the crowd on the bleachers behind her rocked along. She wore a dress with six layers of overlapping frills, bright Labour red, and she thanked the PM for allowing the tooth fairy to visit her son during lockdown.
Courtney Sina Meredith recited a poem, written for the occasion, its last line the Labour slogan, "Let's Keep Moving". Hoake tonu tātau, as the screens keep proclaiming. A kapa haka group from Te Tai Tokerau made a thrilling entrance, flicking streamers of red into the air as they advanced, and then powered their way through some very upbeat waiata.
To finish, they led the crowd in E Ihowā Atua, the national anthem in te reo, delivered in gorgeous multi-part harmony.
If you weren't a Labour fan, it would be tough to take. If you were, it was joy wrapped with a red satin bow.
Oscar Kightley, the MC, told jokes. Clarke Gayford told jokes too. His job was to introduce his "not quite wife", Jacinda Ardern. He said you can't lose an argument with the person voted the world's most eloquent leader. The last time he tried, "in a desperate bid to end it I announced three roads and a tunnel".
Digs at the campaign strategy of Judith Collins aside, he also said he didn't think Ardern had a ceiling. We don't even know how good she is yet, was the message, but don't we want the chance to find out?
The production was very smart, very coordinated. Every man who took the stage, even the ones in Tami Neilson's band, wore dark suits, white shirts and a black tie. Gayford broke the rules: his tie was aubergine.
Ardern herself, when she appeared, wore a dress of grey jersey wool. Her tone was serious: she could have had that crowd on its feet every 10 seconds, throwing roses, but she didn't look for that.
If they'd done a mood board in the planning, it would have been all about comfort and change. We've got this, there's more to do, the task is serious. The key words were "collective purpose", "determination" and "kindness".
She also said Labour had sometimes failed. Her examples: they wanted more homes for first-time buyers and light rail in Auckland. Not exactly campaign promises, more like dreams she wanted to keep alive.
"Sometimes when you try things that have never been done before, you won't always succeed, but that doesn't mean you should give up."
They didn't throw roses. But they did love her.
Afterwards, talking in the winter sun, there was easy agreement that she wasn't wrong: there is so much more to do.
Was it true, media asked Ardern, that she wins all the arguments at home?
"Yes," she said. "On that, Clarke and I agree."
National launches its response in a week.