Winston Peters has spent his party's annual gathering lashing National while saying he won't be picking sides ahead of next year's election.
But it was the party's young members that looked to grab the reins on Sunday.
The New Zealand First leader took the stage at the party's annual convention for a 45-minute speech that mentioned National at least 14 times, just shy of the number of times it named New Zealand First.
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Not before a lengthy introduction, billowing music and a request for the audience to stand, though.
While mentioning a handful of broad policy ideas for next year's election, Peters spoke at length about National's record on economics, individual members current and past, and said it would have to reform if it wanted a Coalition deal in 2020.
"Unless they change, and we hope they do, a future National facing economic headwinds will embark on austerity policies, condemning New Zealand to more social fall out," he said.
"We hope they change but the fact is New Zealand First, right now, as a party of the centre, is the National Party, when it had a capital N – when it put New Zealand First."
So many times did Peters mention the Opposition that when he said "now turning to National", 35-minutes in, the room laughed along with him.
When a heckler interrupted to complain about police numbers, Peters accused them of being from National.
About 10 minutes later, the Right Honourable Peters – as attendees during the weekend called him - rejected he had spent a significant chunk of the speech on the Opposition.
"If that's all you saw in that speech, I invite you to go read it again because that is a road map for where we are going to go in the future as a party," he told reporters.
But Peters' master plan involves position himself as kingmaker again in 2020 and he concluded his speech noting his long-held stance that he wouldn't be picking sides or doing deals ahead of the election.
He made no repeat of a jab at ailing MediaWorks that overshadowed a similar speech on Saturday morning.
And while Peters earlier in the weekend popped out of the conference to meet gun-owning protesters calling on his party to halt the Government's upcoming firearms reforms, he had no plans to do the same for a few dozen Extinction Rebellion environmental protesters gathered at the front door on Sunday.
Their drum circle could be heard getting closer as the Deputy Prime Minister spoke.
In with the new
It was NZ First's youth wing that scored a major victory on Sunday, after convincing the party to rethink its position against testing of pills at music festivals.
Police Minister Stuart Nash this year proposed allowing pill-testing at public events for safety, but several of NZ First's objecting, halting the plan.
However, after push from Young New Zealand First, the party's membership on Sunday made time to publicly debate the issue at its annual conference.
The young members won the vote, despite criticism from MPs Clayton Mitchell, Darroch Ball and Mark Patterson.
In an at-times preacher-like speech, Rob Gore, 23, tried to bridge the generational gap.
"Here you are judging young people for taking MDMA, but we are generation who watched our parents and our parents and our grandparents drink themselves into an early grave," he said.
"Brother, do not point out the sawdust in my eye, look at the plank of wood in your own."
The policy will now go to the party's caucus for further consideration.
Speaking to reports afterwards, a trio of NZ First's youth MPs said they had "worked their bums off" for four years to be able to get the floor and said the key to their victory was emphasising relationships, not the age gap.
"We were talking to people who otherwise would have been our grandparents. People for whom we are their grandchildren," Gore said.
Still, while the youths had their day, there was no shortage of grey hair, canes and fluffy slippers about the conference centre in Christchurch.
Little jars of lollies sat on tables in grand-motherly fashion.
The members could not resist voting through a remit asking the party to look at giving all teenagers 100 hours of compulsory community service.
And Regional Development Minister Shane Jones received a hefty round of applause when he said he still sent physical letters to his mother in Awanui.
Peters, though, showed a flare for technology.
When the livestream of the rugby fizzled out on Saturday night, he pulled out his smartphone to play the game for guests in the room. The convention was shown the pictures to prove it.
The party on Sunday morning also announced its new board, with Rotorua's Kristin Campbell-Smith elected president.
Her predecessor, Lester Gray, last month resigned with a letter citing concerns he had not been given enough information about the party's financial documents to sign them off.