The National Party's current low polling reminds me of a car that met with an accident when its driver refused to slow down despite signs warning about roadworks ahead.
The carnage in the recent few polls is nothing short of a crash - in the wake of the Covid-19 global pandemic - after the party was seemingly travelling okay in the mid-40s for the past two and half years or so.
The party has not been able to come to terms with the "rough patch" the country has suddenly encountered.
It is, at best, just changing drivers, but still adamant on "driving fast" - perhaps in the belief that is the only requirement of skilful driving.
It seems to be lost upon them that driving slowly - or according to the prevailing conditions - is an equally valuable skill.
The party's initial criticism of the Government's lockdown while comparing us with Australia, demanding an immediate transtasman bubble, and the insistence of cornering the Government on the opening of managed isolation and quarantine facilities in regional centres that led to a privacy-bungle and eventual abdication of their former leader all seem to be examples of "fast driving" gone wrong.
The hurriedly propped-up infrastructure announcement - with a massive $31 billion investment that actually does not deliver anything meaningful for at least a couple of decades - is again evidence of speed rather than a thoughtful response.
Even the latest announcements on imposing a levy on returning Kiwis for managed isolation and quarantine, first by National and then by the Labour Government, are examples of how National is being undone because of an insistence with "fast and quick" action.
Theoretically, National's announcement suggesting all returning Kiwis be charged a flat fee of $3000 might appear just and fair, but in reality it would not bring back a centrist voter who had recently fled National's fold.
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Moreover, one million Kiwis living overseas, who will also potentially be casting votes in the next election, will have to bear the cost of returning home under a National government in October if they chose to return.
Labour, in contrast, has offered a solution that to many experts appears imperfect, but will still walk away without inviting wrath from a major chunk of voters.
Overseas-based Kiwis who are keen to return home for the long term do not have to pay any levy under Labour's policy.
The only section of returning Kiwis who possibly would be required to pay a fee would be a minuscule population who would plan to travel short-term – and most preferably for leisure or family visits.
There are provisions for exemptions on compassionate grounds which could potentially accommodate those who intend to travel short term to visit sick family and relatives.
Given current global travel restrictions, and deteriorating economic conditions, you can assume there will only be a minority of Kiwis living overseas keen to return home for temporary visits – at least in the short term.
The Nats are not only driving fast, but also a bit ineptly.
To be fair to their new leader, Judith Collins' reign as party leader is largely not reflected in the most recent poll, and she is on an upward trajectory, at least as a preferred Prime Ministerial candidate.
However, she must soon make a captain's call of driving sensibly. The party needs to commit fewer mistakes and stop exposing its vulnerabilities, even if it means coming across as being slightly sluggish.
That is likely to be more acceptable and appreciated by the public - maybe as a mark of maturity and honesty - of the type required to lead the nation through unchartered territory.
To put it in perspective, today's voter is worried and concerned about their present and the future, because of the single biggest disruption they have experienced in many decades.
New Zealand's collective response to the crisis - despite being one of the best in the world - is still a work in progress.
And voters, it seems, are keenly watching which party can lead that collective response in a calm, composed and thoughtful manner.
• Sandeep Singh is the editor of the Indian Weekender - an Auckland based community newspaper.