What really went on inside National's yacht club party? Fiona Connor was there.
OPINION: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times - the best, of course, playing out at Labour's support camp inside Town Hall and the worst unravelling inside the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron beside Auckland's Harbour Bridge.
The historical landmarks made for fitting locations for the history-making results that were to come to light on Saturday night. But we weren't to know that yet.
It was 7pm at National's election night party and the event was about to get underway. Media were set up and ready, and so we waited. And waited. And waited.
Live election coverage began playing on the big screen inside showing various other locations with politicians popping up for interviews with legions in their backdrop - a stark contrast to the sombre scenes at National's 'party'.
Approaching 7:30pm, just a handful of supporters had arrived. Smiles were few and far between. Camera operators, reporters, producers and tech dudes held the majority.
According to the live coverage, jovial revellers in red were already in full celebration mode at Labour's party. Around the corner from us at Headquarters bar at the viaduct, David Seymour had gloriously arrived aboard a boat, full of excitement to the ACT event.
A boat, I thought, how extraordinary. As a royal blue Subaru WRX did a loop past the entrance, I wondered how Judith Collins would make her entry.
As the minutes ticked by, the impromptu party outside Jacinda Ardern's home looked to be hosting more of a turnout than the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.
Was there a secret National gathering with MPs and supporters happening elsewhere? I'm still not sure.
A group of supporters arrived between 7:30 and 8pm - and then we hit jackpot. A National MP was finally gracing us with her presence. Our new saviour: Melissa Lee.
It took only a couple of minutes after Lee entered the room before she was pounced on by reporter after reporter, eagerly seizing the opportunity to ask her questions. There wasn't much else to do.
When Newshub approached the party's Mt Albert candidate to ask if we could interrupt her evening for yet another interview, she jokingly cried out: "Am I the only MP here or something?"
Yes, actually Melissa you are. But she wasn't the only one fielding interviews.
Mike McRoberts was hot property with the foreign media. He obliged, smoothly transitioning from interviewer to talent and back again.
It appeared the Newshub production team running our interactive, upbeat election coverage generally had better options to broadcast than one of our top presenters standing in a near-empty, unenergetic room doing a headcount.
McRoberts held the position of the most well-known person in the room for the majority of the evening, even politely accepting requests for selfies.
Soon enough, another saviour appeared: food in the form of wraps, filled sandwiches and sushi. However, the sushi resembled St Pierre's that'd been brought earlier that day and put in the fridge. Pretty sure it was.
More supporters arrived and so did party staff. Eventually, Paul Goldsmith made an entry - and was quickly whisked away to the eager reporters looking to make use of their time.
We soon got word Collins was en route from Sky City, and the night quickly began taking shape.
Camera operators were in position and what could charitably be called a crowd gathered in front of the podium - but as she eventually made her way out of the car, Collins lacked the tireless smile we saw so much of during the campaign trail.
It had now become clear, even to her, that the only thing she was accepting this election night was defeat. Her MPs may have seen it coming. The only ones to turn up were Simeon Brown and Chris Penk, standing among Lee and Goldsmith.
As Collins walked in, a young woman who appeared highly intoxicated was briefly scolded by another intoxicated-looking woman beside her for yelling "talofa bitches". The pair then didn't stop talking the entirety of Collins' address.
But it was during her speech I saw a side of the current National Party leader that she had kept hidden while along the campaign trail. She was humbled, timid almost - no theatrics, presenting as no more than a hardworking and dedicated MP who stepped up to take on a role that desperately needed piloting when leadership was lacking, and lost the battle.
Collins had known she had a job to do, withstood the scrutiny of others and made every effort to win, and although her approach came off at times desperate and harsh, she never wavered in holding Labour to account as she always had promised. She gave it her best shot, but it was over.
In a very steady, focused and soft voice, she thanked the supporters in the room, congratulated the incumbent winner and expressed gratitude to her family who stood at her side with real care and compassion.
She was calm, genuine and accepting of the reality, seemingly wearing the responsibility of National's failure. There was no sarcastic quips or game-playing, she was all discipline before making a hasty move toward the exit.
As she stood off the stage, I couldn't help but wonder - had we seen that softer side of Collins a bit more in such delicate times, could things have ended on a higher note for National?
She has three years to figure it out.
Fiona Connor is Newshub digital's features editor.