Having committed an egregious error, in accusing a parliamentary staffer of rape, Speaker Trevor Mallard made matters worse by the way in which he handled it.
He has another chance tomorrow to do it properly, the way he should have done it originally, when he appears before the Government Administration select committee.
Mallard needs to show contrition and to repeat his apology with some meaning and, while he is at it, explain why the person he maligned received such a miserable payout.
Some people may think this is beltway issue about Mallard having spent $333,541.70 in a legal settlement.
But perhaps more people see it as a case of false accusation by someone in a powerful position who has shown virtually no contrition.
Most of the money, $175,641 went on Mallard's legal fees and to Crown Law, and $158,000 went to the former staffer, most of which was probably spent on his own legal fees.
Mallard offered to appear before the select committee, probably realising that the way he shut the issue down last week when raised by National and Act in the House reflected badly on him.
It was almost as bad as the way he had shut down Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi when he had tried to take a point of order in Māori. Mallard has perhaps unwittingly turned the chamber into his place, not that of the MPs.
Mallard made his ill-judged comments last year, soon after releasing a report he had commissioned on bullying and harassment. He said the staff member had been suspended, pending an investigation into sexual assault. Rape allegations were never made, contrary to the impression Mallard gave.
The staff member has never returned.
National leader Judith Collins says her party has lost confidence in Mallard and will seek his removal because of the size of the payout and the unacceptable behaviour.
That, of course, won't happen but for someone who is often accused of protecting the Prime Minister - through conscious or unconscious bias while he is in the chair - he was in need of her protection this week as his situation was debated.
She pointed out, rightly, that there is some politics at play, that other Speakers have been subjected to motions of no-confidence and that she still had confidence in him.
But what is clear is that Ardern also expected Mallard to do more to explain his actions, rather than leaving it to her.
Former National whip Barbara Kuriger will chair the meeting on Wednesday and won't want a circus. Shadow leader of the House Chris Bishop is sitting in for National newbie Nicola Grigg.
The three Labour MPs are all new MPs but under new standing order, MPs from other parties, Act, the Greens and the Māori Party, may attend as well.
And that goes to some of Mallard's better qualities. While he often shows bias and has far greater intolerance of noise from the National side of the House, he has overseen the liberalisation of rules in debates, some of which show up poorly performing ministers.
Some of his attributes have been recognised in several maiden speeches. He has made it a more friendly place for parents and children, adjusted hours, and had a children's playground built.
He has also made Parliament a more friendly place for dogs and dog-owners who work there.
His actions in relation to the staffer were wrong and he did the minimal possible to apologise. He will not and should not lose his job, but he should use the time to reflect on how to do his job better.