The art of diplomacy is to make the implausible sound plausible.

On that front, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has failed dismally this week.

They acted like bully boys when it came to a Wellington landlord trying to extract money owing to him by a European Union diplomat. Matt Ryan went through the channels open to him by law - the Tenancy Tribunal - and won a settlement against the Deputy Head of Mission for the Union, Eva Tvarozkova.

Ryan rightly thought the matter had been put to rest until he received a letter in the mail informing him there was to be a rehearing at the behest of our own Ministry which insisted it took no interest in the facts of the case.


But the reasons it sought for the rehearing was to overturn the decision because it said the proceedings should never have commenced and no decision against the diplomat should have been made, because she had immunity.

Of course that's taking an interest and, even if it is the ridiculous law, why on earth they couldn't have picked up the phone and called the diplomat and told her to face up to her responsibilities would surely have been in the best interests of diplomacy.

They're now asking the European Union, who we're hoping to do a free trade deal with, to waive immunity so the diplomat can face up to her responsibilities. Chances are they wouldn't have been asked for it if attention wasn't drawn to it. The diplomats are considering it, let's hope they take the diplomatic route.

And while we're on diplomacy, why can't Jacinda Ardern get in step with our allies and support, rather than "utterly accept" the air strikes on Syrian chemical weapons factories? She's the one blind eye of the Five Eyes countries we belong to and who we share intelligence with and who all vehemently support the strikes. Ardern is no doubt choosing her words on the advice of Foreign Affairs.

To expect a multilateral response through the United Nations, which she thinks we should hang out for, is about as likely as Winston Peters entering a seminary.