National leader John Key has learned that sometimes your friends can be a lot more dangerous than your enemies.
The first person Mr Key came across during a shopping mall walkabout in New Plymouth was Morris Hey - the Act Party's electorate chairman. Mr Hey was not happy at all.
Under a quiet deal with National, Act agreed not to stand a candidate in New Plymouth to increase National candidate Jonathan Young's chances of holding the seat.
In return, Mr Hey had expected National not to stand in Epsom or, at least, to send a clear message to Epsom voters to vote for Act's candidate, John Banks.
"We've kept our side of the bargain, now I'm asking you to do yours."
Mr Key muttered that Mr Hey should talk to his own party about the matter and quickly moved on, leaving Mr Hey to say he felt "deserted" and that Mr Key should ensure the deal was honoured.
Despite his efforts, Mr Key was yesterday still pondering whether he would ever work up sufficient thirst to have a cup of tea with Mr Banks.
The New Plymouth public also provided Mr Key with one of his meatiest walkabouts. Rather than simply line up for photos, the New Plymouth voters took him to task.
Mary - a staff member at McDonald's - said that while she was no longer on the minimum wage, she could not see how a young family with children could live on $13 an hour.
She appeared unconvinced by his explanation that 6000 jobs would go in small businesses such as the local cafe if it was raised to $15, saying he was selling out workers in big companies for the sake of "six people at a cafe".
George Smith, 17, was worried about jobs and welfare. He lived with his mum, was not on a benefit and was a rapper.
"As a rapper you don't get much at all," he pointed out. Mr Key said some rappers did quite well. "50 Cent does."
There were more pleasurable moments for Mr Key. Travis Judd, a teenager with piercings on his face, asked for a hug, which was duly granted.
Another woman said she had met Winston Peters a few weeks before and "you're just as good looking as he is, if not more".
There was further solace for Mr Key in hearing that Labour candidate Andrew Little also learned a valuable lesson during the day - that a good stunt is useless without timing.
Mr Little had arranged for a plane to fly overhead while Mr Key was looking over the construction under way at the local hospital. The plane was towing a banner that said "A Little late John - Y the delay?" It referred to the year-long delay in the construction of the hospital. Alas, the plane made it to the site just after Mr Key - and the television cameras - had left.