Labour leader David Shearer did the right thing by pulling Mangere MP Su'a William Sio into line this week for criticising his own colleague's Gay Marriage bill and suggesting it would cost Labour votes.
Sio's outburst had exposed in-fighting in the party at time when weak polling was already raising questions about Shearer's authority as leader.
Getting an apology from Sio and then giving all his MPs a rev up sent the necessary message to voters that Shearer is a leader in control.
If there were any gripes it would be that Shearer could have perhaps acted a little sooner and been a little more polished with his delivery.
Nevertheless, he put on a stern enough showing and got the job done in the end.
But while the public nature of Sio's outburst couldn't be tolerated by Shearer, the point Sio was making should at least be considered by the party in private.
Because while it's probably a stretch to say the bill might directly cost Labour votes, it does carry some risks.
A high level of publicity around 'Labour's' gay marriage bill could fuel a perception that the party is focusing too much on social or moral issues, at a time when unemployment is rising and businesses are struggling.
Nothing wrong of course with trying to address social issues which you feel are being neglected and it's not my intention here to cast judgement on the merits of the gay marriage bill one way or the other.
It just that I think that right now Labour's number one priority needs to re-establishing its governing credentials with voters who have deserted the party.
In particular it needs to be working really hard to convince voters it has a credible and capable team who can manage the economy through uncertain times.
The economy will be the number one election issue. But it is flat-lining and National is going to be very vulnerable over the next two years if it doesn't improve.
Labour has a real opportunity to reach out to voters fretting about their job security.
Part of the problem for Labour to date is it hasn't yet released much economic policy and this has left the door open to accusations that it doesn't know what it stands for.
However that's slowly starting to change.
In the last few weeks we have started to get snippets of policy directions.
Finance spokesman David Parker this week floated some new ideas, including tax incentives to help small businesses raise capital and regional lending initiatives.
While Shearer seemed to signal a shift to the right on welfare with a swipe at dole bludgers in a recent speech.
However getting a sense of where Labour's going, could become a lot clearer in a few weeks' time when the government is expected to introduce a bill making changes to employment law.
Labour's core supporters the union movement (some of whom have expressed to me dissatisfaction with David Shearer's communications skills) are already spoiling for a fight over the bill.
They will want Shearer to fight hard.
However the business community, which Parker has been courting lately, will also be watching Labour closely for any signs of a lurch to the left on industrial relations.
David Shearer will have a tough call to make.
Because anything less than an passionate attack on the employment law will simply confirm the suspicion that under Shearer, Labour is indeed veering right and heading for the safety of the political centre ground.
To read more Corin Dann opinion click here