OPINION: It was just too good to last - The Left vibe has taken a dive thanks to the Willie Jackson farce.
Labour started the year united and looking like a legitimate, electable alternative government alongside the Greens.
The party hadn't looked that good in years. It was refreshing. There really was a great vibe. But it was all just a façade.
Enter the vibe killers: Andrew Little and Willie Jackson on one side, with Poto Williams and the Labour's liberal left on the other.
Watch the video for Poto Williams' response to questions about her hiring a PR firm.
Little and Jackson have come in over the top and trampled on the mana of many in Labour with the 'Jackson jack-up'. Then Williams and the liberal Left have doubled down with an out-of-control and divisive reaction.
Between them they have ruined Labour's momentum.
Who would blame some voters for wondering if a hypersensitive and fractured party is ready to run the country?
Yes, Jackson's selection is contentious, but he was headhunted by Little - the Labour leader. (It is now pretty obvious Jackson wasn't worth the trouble, but what's done is done.)
Publicly criticising, attacking, and lambasting Jackson is doing the same to Little and his judgement.
Williams knows this. She knows how the political game works. Her statement blasting Jackson's selection was an attack on Little's judgement.
It comes across as a premeditated hit-job on Little.
She is undermining the leader. But Little is clearly on shaky ground on the Jackson jack-up, as he has not been able to discipline her.
Then there's this crowd-sourced Google Doc open letter to Little initiated by Young Labour.
They are undermining Little too. It shows there's a huge disconnect between the party faithful and the leader.
Voters are always turned off by infighting.
It gives Labour's opponents the chance to needle them for being dominated by a small group of easily offended Wellington hipsters, craft beer/chardonnay socialists who are obsessed with being politically correct.
With this kind of infighting on display, Labour risks turning off those New Zealanders looking for a credible alternative government.
And it goes without saying that every minute it talks about Jackson, it is not talking about people sleeping in cars, or struggling to find work, or unable to buy their first home.
The vibe has turned septic.