Health Minister and Northcote MP Jonathan Coleman says he attended a fundraising ball where parents were playing with fake cocaine but he was unaware the activity was even happening.

He added he was not concerned about the use of the unusual prop at the Las Vegas-themed ball, saying that media attention to the issue was a "massive beat-up".

Coleman said he attended the fundraising event at Northcote Primary on Saturday because his children go to the school.

"The big story here is a fantastic group of parents got together and raised $30,000 for the school and it was a great night.

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Fake cocaine, which was actually icing sugar, was served up at the school ball. Photo / Supplied
Fake cocaine, which was actually icing sugar, was served up at the school ball. Photo / Supplied

"And those parents went to a huge amount of effort to raise money for the school.

"But look, it's a storm in a teacup."

Asked whether he played with the fake cocaine, he said: "Of course I didn't. I didn't even see this stuff. I didn't even know it was there until I heard it in the media yesterday. It's a small detail."

The minister conceded that parents and teachers should be leading by example.

Attendees play with the fake cocaine on a tray. Photo / Supplied
Attendees play with the fake cocaine on a tray. Photo / Supplied

"But in the context of what was a great fundraising effort it was a small detail.

"I was there all night. And frankly, I didn't even know that this prop was there.

"So call me naïve, but look, the school and no one there is condoning drug use.

"This is a massive beat-up."

Local body politician Lindsay Waugh, who was also at the controversial ball, said the organising committee probably regretted taking the props to such an extreme.

The Kaipatiki local board member said she did not see anything that resembled fake drug taking and had left the event early in the evening.

"I didn't see what was going on," she said.

"From what I understand it was in the bathroom."

She said in hindsight the committee would probably realise the use of a fake drug prop was "unwise".

Waugh said she supported efforts of the school to raise funds and had enjoyed the few hours she spent at the ball.

The school's board chairman Andrew Fox said the fake cocaine was part of a bathroom decoration in keeping with the ball's Vegas theme.

He saw the fake drug prop and didn't think it was an issue at the time.

The ball was an R18 event with alcohol and adult themes.

In hindsight it was in poor taste and inappropriate, said Fox.