In a rare admission of failure, the Prime Minister turned up on Newstalk ZB this past weekend and confessed she wished she could have brought more people with the Government, especially in the latter part of the Covid outbreak.
Jacinda Ardern didn't know what the answer was (I'll help with that shortly), she "hadn't landed on that yet", as in she doesn't know why she has failed, but will "probably think about that for a long time".
Good on her for being at least partially honest, it's amazing what a smack between the eyes a bad poll can be.
The 1News-Kantar poll that had Labour behind National is the numerical beginning of the end for this Government.
The rot has been setting in for some time but the poll confirms it, and the gap between the centre-left and centre-right will be solidified, if not increased over the next year.
The answer to the PM's dilemma is relatively simple.
They made too many mistakes, they didn't admit those mistakes, and they certainly didn't apologise.
They relied far too heavily on ministry wonks who let them down and who also didn't admit mistakes and apologise.
Essentially what the past two years have been about is protecting a health system they refused to bolster until it was too late.
Most of us, the vast majority of us, were never going to be bothered by Covid, far less the Omicron aspect of it, but we were forced to sacrifice an astonishing number of freedoms for those who might be.
From the very beginning it has been haphazard ... the PPE that never turned up for the nurses and doctors, the flu jab last year that got botched, the nurses that weren't recruited until it was too late, the absurd mess around ICU beds and how you count them, the behind-the-scenes Machiavellian madness of the Ministry of Health refusing any number of Official Information Act requests on detail the media inquired about, the astonishingly cruel MIQ rulings where DJs got clearance and family members of dying people didn't - the list, if you sit and think about it long enough, is exhausting and really provides the Prime Minister with all the material she needs to see why so many of us didn't go along for the ride.
It's simple as well to break this whole mess into two parts.
Part 1 - close the border - we got that, we accepted it, but from that point on the Government either went to sleep or got so enamoured by its own self-promotion that Part 2 never really got rolled out.
In other words, when it became obvious that we needed the next step - the next series of ideas, plans and decisions - they never came, not until it became farcical.
Borders, crowds, business support ... as the world moved on we remained stuck in a time warp.
There is any amount of international material for the Prime Minister to read if she wants to.
Material that very clearly explains how New Zealand went from the envy of the world in terms of safety, to a hermit kingdom unable to move forward.
It's a combination of their inexperience, reliance on officials, arrogance and passion for spin that has led them here.
I don't know whether the PM knows this and just says she doesn't, or whether she is genuinely confused. If it's the latter then they're in more trouble than I already thought they were.
You can only take the voter for granted for so long, you can only treat them badly for a very short period of time. Eventually, when the public work out where we need to be before the government does, you have lost the room.
They didn't take more of us with them because they told us they knew better when they didn't, they didn't tell enough truth when they needed to, fundamentally they weren't up to it from the start. They are "B" teamers handed a crisis, who were exposed for lack of talent and acumen.
A government that got famous early for lack of delivery, did the same with Covid as they did with KiwiBuild or light rail.
It's not hard to understand unless you don't want to, or you don't have the wherewithal to get it in the first place.