Shane Jones is just the gift that keeps on giving isn't he? No wonder Winston Peters is defending him, he's Winston 2.0.
Peters must be marvelling at his protege. Bully boy tactics, running down reporters, throwing out threats and barbs until he's finally, albeit softly, reined in. He also must hold the world record for the number of times saying "gobble de gook" in a 15-minute period.
So on Air NZ's big day, a day when it should've been basking in its PR coup of scenic photo opps with Barack Obama, (ironically, in one of the regions Shane Jones is so concerned about), Air NZ is instead deflecting talk of resignations and the CEO being told to get 'back in his box'.
While from the sidelines this looks mildly comical, the implications are deeply serious for Air NZ - and any other company with a large government interest. And on an even grander scale, what does all this say about the coalition government? Is this the first sign of cracks?
Old mate Shane - 'I'll say what I want', watcher of movies in the buff - ends up with a Prime Ministerial rebuff. Of sorts.
In what's looking increasingly like a 'sit on the fence' Prime Minister when it comes to dealing with her Cabinet members she gave a light rap over the knuckles, while at the same time agreeing with much of the sentiment of his statement.
So where does that leave us? It's like when the kids ask if they can have more chips and you say, I don't think it's a great idea, but I can understand you wanting them - the kids are left wondering, well is that a yes or a no?
The thing about all of this is, it's not a joke. The Government's not playing Monopoly here, it's running a country.
Jokes, threats, mild rebukes and a few laughs is not what competent strong governance looks like.
This airline is worth hundreds of millions. Business operates on a structure of rules, regulations, boundaries and clarity. It doesn't do games, showmanship, one-liners and threats.
I'm not sure if the Government has grasped the magnitude of this cat and mouse game they're playing. Or how it looks on a wider scale. And I don't know quite how they think this 'my way or the highway' approach is going to work when it comes to all the things they seemingly want to control in this country. We are a democracy, it's not a dictatorship.
Perhaps the Government could set up another working party on how to deal with business?
And then we have National chiming in, claiming hypocrisy, as Jones happily accepts a free dinner on Air NZ at the Obama event tonight - while in the same day deriding them.
I guess we should just be grateful Jones will take a Crown car to the event and not arrive courtesy of a Defence Force helicopter - or as Simon Bridges refers to it 'Ron Air'.
I won't be surprised however, if at tonight's event, he gets seated down the back by the loos.