Judith Collins held back tears thanking Prince Philip for "being outspoken" in a special session of Parliament during which MPs paid their respects by performing a waiata.
There was no shouting or jeering in the House on Tuesday, or fiery clash between Labour and National - just a collection of speeches by party leaders and MPs to pay their respects to the late Duke of Edinburgh.
"On behalf of the Government and people of New Zealand, I take this opportunity to extend our sympathy to Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family on the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh," said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Ardern reflected on the 99-year-old's "long life marked by his devotion to duty" and his "unwavering support" for his wife, the now-widowed Queen Elizabeth II.
"When he stepped down from his duties in 2017, aged 96, it was estimated he'd attended over 22,000 official engagements as consort to Her Majesty. In doing so, he had to sacrifice his own naval career and dedicate his life to supporting the Crown," Ardern said.
"Prince Philip will be long remembered for his down-to-earth style and formidable sense of humour. Sometimes his directness created controversy but he never shied away from his sense of duty."
That "directness" appears to be what National leader Judith Collins enjoyed the most about His Royal Highness.
"I thank him for his service, I thank him for his courage, I thank him for being outspoken and I thank him for his wit," Collins said, holding back tears.
Collins appeared emotional throughout her speech. She reflected on how the Duke's "world fell apart" when his father left with a mistress and his deaf mother was institutionalised in a mental asylum in Switzerland.
"He was without the benefit of parents for around six years with no contact whatsoever from his parents in that time in the formative time of teenage years."
Collins appeared emotional again quoting Prince Philip recalling his experience with anti-Semitism at boarding school, and how it "taught him a very important lesson about man's capacity for inhumanity".
"In conclusion, it is a privilege to stand here today in recognising and giving thanks for the life of his Royal Highness Prince Philip."
Green Party co-leader James Shaw's speech was much briefer.
"As with any family, suffering the loss of a loved one, I'm sure they will miss him greatly. There are many New Zealanders who had a connection to the Prince from visits here or aspects of his work and they too are feeling his loss at this time."
He finished by quoting the Duke's grandson, Prince William, who said: "I know that he would want us to get on with the job."
Māori Party co-leaders Rawiri Waititi and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer were nowhere to be seen, but their office told Newshub it was not an intentional snub to the Royals, and they simply had other commitments.
ACT leader David Seymour paid tribute to the Duke for "selflessly contributing to enormous stability" for the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
"Many people have said to me over many years that the Royal Family is one of the few constants in their lives and I know from so many people I've heard and spoken over the last few days that that permanence and constancy was felt very keenly by them and the Duke of Edinburgh embodied it."
Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta performed a tangi apakura, a waiata of loss and sorrow, for the late Duke of Edinburgh.
"Today was a time to acknowledge the dedication and commitment and service of Prince Philip," Mahuta told reporters. "He was a man of his time... he lived for 99 years and saw a societal shift on a whole number of fronts, and his attitudes were often grown from the period in which he was born."
Mahuta's waiata in Parliament was followed by one performed by the entire House of Representatives.
A memorial service for Prince Philip will be held in Wellington on Wednesday, April 21 at 3pm. It will be held on the same day as the Queen's birthday.