The Labour Party has no friends.

You may think the Greens are its friends. Or even New Zealand First, given that party's loyalty put Labour into power.

But you'd be wrong. The lesson from the last week is that neither are Labour's friends. They're frenemies. In seven days, both parties have hurt Labour.

And by the looks of things, they did so quite deliberately.


First, the Green Party. The Greens' decision to give their parliamentary questions to the Opposition is nothing short of treachery.

They gave National 2 years supply of extra ammo with which to attack Labour. That's unbelievably disloyal.

Feigning innocence doesn't wash. No one believes the Greens don't know the damage this could do.

None of their reasons make sense. This can't be a commitment to holding the Government to account, otherwise the party would just ask the hard questions in Parliament. That is doable. Act's David Seymour regularly made a nuisance of himself by barking questions at the National Government.

Neither can the reason be to attract attention. The Judas announcement only netted one day of headlines. Asking tough questions weekly would deliver weekly headlines.

The only plausible explanation is the Greens wanted to warn Labour. Or New Zealand First. Or both.

It's likely the warning was the Greens won't always play nice. It's likely the reason was because of Photo Op Fomo.

We've had months of cosy Jacinda and Winston photos in the news. Recall any cosy Jacinda and James Shaw photos? James who? Exactly.


Then New Zealand First. No sooner had Labour put the Greens' treachery to bed than NZ First's resident rogue Shane Jones saw his chance to play naughty toddler.

Jones' full-noise attack on Air New Zealand was probably designed to get headlines. It worked. But he very quickly went from credible to crazy.

Criticising Air New Zealand for its decision to pull out of Kaitaia and Kāpiti is a reasonable thing for the Self-Appointed Champion of the Regions to do.

But demanding the board chairman resign and telling the CEO to shut up is beyond the pale.

It's slightly bullying, slightly unhinged, plenty distasteful and straddles a weird grey area of Government interference in a majority Government-owned company.

The worst part of Jones' carry on is he made the PM look weak. First she defended his right to vent. Then she told him off and made a point of telling us she had. And then he made a joke of that.

Jones pulled his sorry, not sorry act and then had another crack at the Air New Zealand CEO, claiming Christopher Luxon harbours an ambition to stand as a National Party candidate.

What can the PM do? Probably not a lot. Which is not a good look, given he is in her Cabinet.

In a column in December, I warned Jones would take the populist route and trot out crazisms that he wouldn't have the power to enact.

This is a perfect example of that. Who wears the damage of that? Labour, because it can't follow through on what he says and also can't punish him for saying it.

It's not an accident both of Labour's frenemies timed their attacks for this week.

Remember what happened last week? Labour fought day after day of headlines over the alleged sexual assault of teenagers at its summer camp.

So, Labour was already bloodied. And when it was weak, its support parties punched it around a bit more.

Who wants friends like that?

Heather du Plessis-Allan is on NewstalkZB Wellington, weekday mornings.