If this weekend's National Party conference runs true to recent form - and there is no obvious reason why this year's gathering of the clan will depart from that script - it will be so stage-managed that any vitality or vibrancy will have been sucked out of the affair before it has even begun.
Week in politics
The National Party might have fooled itself into thinking otherwise, but it was done like a dog's dinner by Labour this week.
Bill English sure dropped an almighty bombshell in confirming the possibility that hundreds of the country's state houses could end up in Australian hands.
In the public's mind, Colin Craig's confession that aspects of his relationship with his former press secretary, Rachel MacGregor, were ''inappropriate'' begs only one question: just how inappropriate?
Bill English's latest experiment in the delivery of social services to those at the bottom of the socio-economic heap is the most radical yet to emerge from his Beehive laboratory.
Let's get one thing straight: the Labour Party is not shutting journalists out of its conference in Wellington this weekend despite some media and bloggers breathlessly, but inaccurately, claiming it is.
Amid the energy-sapping and morale-draining bouts of bedlam afflicting the New Zealand Labour Party, one senior caucus figure gives every impression of being a veritable rock of calm and stability.
Words were very much Paul Goldsmith's forte before the former speechwriter, press secretary and biographer entered Parliament three years ago.
The downfall and disgrace of John Banks may have seemed the story of the week. But the Epsom MP was already history - ancient history, in fact.
It must surely be tempting fate to mention it, but there are definite signs Labour has finally emerged from its long bleak winter of dysfunction, despair and inertia.
When it comes to searching for the inhabitants of that land otherwise described by politicians in Tolkien-sounding fashion as Middle New Zealand, you need look no further than the Hastings suburb of Mahora.
It has been a very long time since allegations of corruption have been levelled at a Cabinet minister with such a degree of seriousness as was apparent in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon.
Having turned its caucus room in Parliament Buildings into a war room staffed almost around the clock by policy wonks, political strategists, experts in both mass communication and social media, plus assorted press secretaries - and all in readiness for the coming general election - the Labour Party might find itself with another war on its hands before then.
If voters swallow John Key's line that a vote for Labour is a vote for higher interest rates, they will swallow anything the prime minister puts in front of them.