Andrew Little is a keen reader but the urge to scribble down his own verse has never struck.

That all changed while in the thick of preparations to respond to tomorrow’s Budget, his first as opposition leader.

Over a couple of hours this morning, and in between other tasks, the Labour leader penned a lengthy poem that poked fun at National and began, “Twas the night before the Budget” – a nod to the famous A Visit from St. Nicholas (also known as The Night Before Christmas) by Clement Clarke Moore.

Mr Little’s poem painted a picture of panic amidst National MPs rising with the realisation the country’s finances weren’t as healthy as had been made out.

He later read it out during Parliament’s general debate – an event he later told the Herald qualified as his first poetry reading.