The Greens' election campaign opened with a vitriolic attack on Prime Minister John Key and his Government from actor Robyn Malcolm who savaged what she described as his preference for photo opportunities over tackling environmental and social problems.
The Outrageous Fortune star MC'ed the Greens' opening in Wellington, as she did three years earlier, when "we ended up voting in a Government who've revealed their total lack of interest in leading us into the 21st century with any innovation, courage, or social integrity, despite what a nice guy he [Mr Key] seems to be".
The National Government had shown an "unshakeable and abiding love" of new roads and fossil fuels "and will gut any part of our landscape to get at them".
The Greens have been buoyed by polls showing them with 10 per cent voter support three weeks before the election.
10 per cent support for the Greens eh? Just as they seem poised to be viewed as a more moderate option than previous Green efforts, Robyn Malcolm turns on the nastiness.
And of course, there's a Hobbit hangover:
National had demonstrated "a disregard for the 200,000 children living below the international poverty line", a "clear lack of understanding on how to support children's education", and a "dispassionate and punitive approach to those in our prisons," she said.
The Prime Minister and his party had "an inability to follow through on promises of any kind ... and now a determination to sell a percentage of our strong revenue returning assets".
But National would "make anything up for a Hollywood mogul should they happen to come down this way" - a reference to employment law changes made in response to Sir Peter Jackson's warnings his Hobbit films would not be made here.
Malcolm was, of course, at the centre of the dispute over The Hobbitt last year; fronting for NZ Actors' Equity and the Australian union MEAA, she backed the wrong horse, and the movie is now under production in New Zealand.
But the union actions at the time were described by Rosemary McLeod as "the most inept industrial action of my lifetime", and we wouldn't disagree. Surely the strategists in the Green Party, who up until now have made every post a winner have seen that attacks on John Key don't work, especially when there's underlying bitterness on the part of the attacker. To have allowed Robyn Malcolm to be the headline-grabber in today's Herald is - well, inept!
So that's a fail mark for the Greens, and their hopes of taking 15 seats in three weeks time might just have been dented. Robyn Malcolm might be a reasonable actress, but as a union stooge and political activist, she has a lot to learn.