A bit of bite back in the blue team: How National's first day in Parliament under Christopher Luxon unfolded

It was billed as the clash of the titans.

Christopher Luxon vs Jacinda Ardern - it was his first standoff with the Prime Minister. But it could be argued it was more a clash of the tiddlywinks. 

Luxon in the House was like a coiled spring, preparing to pounce and ask his questions of the Prime Minister. But in that new role you have got to be quick - ACT leader David Seymour snaked his question.

Luxon got back on track - until he wasn't. 

"Does she agree... oh, sorry," he said, as he searched through his notes.

Neither side was at their slickest.

"Well, I reject that question," Ardern said, when Luxon asked why the Government spent more than $50 billion from the COVID fund before announcing any funding for extra ICU beds.

Then followed the finance fight - after the pleasantries of course. 

"Can I first congratulate the member on his new role," Finance Minister Grant Robertson said to National's new finance spokesperson Simon Bridges. 

But Bridges was given a swift reminder that just last week he was a leadership contender.

"As the member might appreciate more than most, sometimes events can move quickly, and numbers can shift around," Robertson said, which was met with laughter. 

Bridges took it in his stride, but some of the reshuffled backbench was not quite so accepting, like National MP Todd McClay, who plummeted out of the top 20.

"You'd have to ask the leader that," he said, when asked why he was pushed down the rankings. "To me, the amount of respect I deserve, you can interpret that however you like."

National MP Michael Woodhouse was also demoted, and also disappointed.

"I've gone backwards. I'm not going to hide that disappointment."

They perhaps needed to take a leaf out of their colleagues' books - the caucus reciting what sounded like a series of motivational self-help quotes.

"The thing with turning the page is that you actually have to turn the page," said National MP Todd Muller, who on Monday confirmed he was no longer stepping down at the next election. "I put the backpack of grievance down."

National MP Harete Hipango remarked: "You know, life has its ups and its downs."

Even Bridges had an inspirational quote: "Yesterday was yesterday, and today is the future."

The day didn't quite deliver the unmuzzling of the bulldog that was promised by Luxon earlier in the morning ahead of National's caucus meeting, when he said: "Don't you worry mate, we've got a bit of mongrel, it'll be good."

But ultimately, there was a bit of bite back in the blue team.