This was the week John Key was to have set the political agenda.
It was the Prime Minister’s first full week back after the summer break, the first Cabinet meeting, the week of the state-of-the-nation speech, the first overseas visit – to Australia.
Instead of projecting strong leadership, Key has been on the defensive.
He began by defending the minister who was consulted over Kim Dotcom’s residency application.
The internet posting of the private taped conversation between Key and Act candidate (now MP) John Banks at the height of the election campaign again forced him on to the back foot.
And he has been defending the sale of Crafar farms to the Chinese company Shanghai Pengxin all week, as well as yesterday after the approval was given.
Every party seeks to set the agenda but the past week has made it easy for new Opposition leader David Shearer and that old expert on opposition, Winston Peters.