Labour's "reset" of KiwiBuild has proved to be the party's Little Engine that Couldn't moment.

For five years in opposition and two in government, Labour ground away at it, puffing "we think we can, we think we can".

Alas, unlike the stoic Little Engine of the childhood book, yesterday Labour had to concede that it could not. Reality trumped optimism.

The KiwiBuild saga is a salutary lesson to all political parties of the adage that if something looks too good or simple to be true, it probably is.

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In the short-term, the failure to deliver has been an embarrassment.

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