Rarely has such a salvo of sorries come from a politician's mouth as Green Party co-leader James Shaw treated us to this week.
He was a very sorry soul indeed. Regrets, he had quite a few. Six in fact, for that was the number of times he used the word "apologise" in his address of mea culpa.
The path to the apologies had been a bit of slow-burner for Shaw.
At first blush Shaw's advocacy for a $11.7 million grant for construction of the private Green School in Taranaki was deemed bad simply because it was a private school - and a lot of money.
The Green Party's policy is to get rid of public funding for private schools. Hello, our old friend Hypocrisy.
But before long even those who did not think 'private school' was a dirty phrase joined in the pillorying.
At first Shaw defended it: he pointed to the jobs created, and the promise of truly 'green' construction.
It was just the ticket to show the people in drilling-reliant Taranaki that a glorious, new sustainable future awaited them.
It was a stiff lesson in doing due diligence. As the week rolled on, more came out: the school was not registered, Treasury had opposed the funding, the school was planning to host visitors and plant beds of crystals to increase fifth dimensional consciousness.
Harder to contend with were understandable complaints from nearby state schools.
The principals pointed to their own battered buildings, comparatively paltry operational funding, and years of begging letters to the Ministry of Education.
The Prime Minister's only very limited defence for Shaw came up at this point: she said the Green School money was not from the education budget and would not impact on other school's building projects – for which $2 billion had been allocated.
But if Shaw had hoped for some cover from the other government parties, they all but threw him to the wolves.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins bluntly refused to take any blame, pointing the finger straight at Shaw. It was, he said, something the Greens advocated for: "it was one of their wins," he said.
Presumably he meant the "win" bit of that ironically.
Then came emails seen by Mediaworks in which Shaw's office told other ministers he would not sign off on $3 billion worth of other projects unless the Green School was included.
It is not often the Greens are caught out in white-knuckle brinkmanship – if anything they are accused of being too soft about it.
It would almost be worthy of applause, if not for the fact that it looked very much like a Government partner holding funding for the Covid recovery to ransom for the sake of a pet project.
By now, Shaw's aura was very much in need of a hard rub with the Brasso.
It was no surprise that NZ First leader Winston Peters also threw Shaw straight under the bus.
Not long ago, Shaw was calling Peters "an agent of chaos," making digs about Peters' chances of returning to Parliament, and openly dreaming of a utopian government with just Labour and the Greens.
Peters delivered a swift lesson in reaping what you sow.
Perhaps Shaw could pass it on to the Green School as part of the crystal gardening course.
But Shaw's main concern was the reaction of Green Party voters.
Green Party members are notoriously sensitive to anything they consider outside the principles of the party.
In July last year, Shaw had to apologise after an outcry over an advertisement criticising National's Simon Bridges, including mocking his accent.
Bridges thought the ad was "pretty funny" but the Green Party base did not.
The ad was pulled and things subsided.
It is highly likely the same thing will happen with the Green School – but Shaw was clearly worried about the speculation it could lose the Green Party enough support to also lose them their place in Parliament.
Parallels have been drawn with a similar point in the electoral cycle in 2017, when then co-leader Metiria Turei announced the party's social policy by using herself as an example: she admitted she had cheated the welfare system as a single mother.
Far from losing votes for the party, Turei's confession initially led to a big surge of support for the Greens and hence a slump for Labour.
That was the catalyst for Little to hand over the leadership to Ardern.
The popularity of Ardern – and her focus on the environment and climate change – drew those votes back from the Greens, and more.
Sometimes political parties take steps that disappoint their supporters.
For some there is little danger that those supporters will shift their votes elsewhere, for there is no alternative.
But the Green Party's polling just above 5 per cent means it cannot afford to lose votes, and there is an alternative safe harbour for any disgruntled supporters.
That is Ardern and, judging from her lack of defence of Shaw, she has every intention of welcoming those voters with open arms again.