High-flying Cabinet minister Kris Faafoi is in trouble.
Jacinda Ardern will be demanding answers about a Newshub story which appears to show Faafoi intervening in an immigration case on behalf of a friend, Opshop singer Jason Kerrison.
The personal Facebook and text communication between the pair – apparently given by Kerrison to the news outlet - reveals a willingness by Faafoi to contact people in Immigration New Zealand who "can speed things up".
Kerrison's mother was having difficulty getting a partnership visa for her husband in Kenya.
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In another text it appears as though Faafoi is helping out but knows he shouldn't be seen to be helping.
"Bro, it's moving. I can't put anything in writing," Faafoi says.
Using one's ministerial position to help a friend is not only a breach of the Cabinet manual, it is sackable offence and has claimed the job of a minister before.
Nick Smith was forced to resign from the Cabinet in 2012 when it emerged that as ACC minister in the previous term, he had intervened on an ACC case for a friend.
Prime Minister John Key said at the time: "The resignation follows questions about Dr Smith's judgment in supporting an ACC claimant while he was minister during the previous term.
"It is important that ministers are seen to actively manage both real and perceived conflicts of interest in the exercise of their duties."
Smith's demise and subsequent vacancies led to the early elevation of Simon Bridges to a ministerial post outside Cabinet.
Bridges put out a measured statement tonight, not demanding Faafoi's resignation but saying Ardern has serious questions to ask of Faafoi.
And he is right about one thing when he said that Faafoi had let Ardern down.
He has been an excellent minister and was promoted in the July reshuffle from minister outside Cabinet to inside Cabinet.
He has a big workload and some important work on his plate, not least the restructure of public broadcasting in New Zealand which Cabinet is likely to look at next week.
Ironically the one thing that would save Faafoi is a lie.
If Faafoi wasn't actually helping his mate's mother, but was only telling his mate he was helping, then he might get to keep his portfolios.
Those are the questions that Ardern will need answers to – and the answers cannot just come from Faafoi himself but from the Immigration Service.
The apparent willingness of Faafoi to help his friend came shortly after he was promoted out of the Associate Immigration Minister role so he would still have known who to contact to "speed things up."
To his credit, Faafoi referred the case to the relevant local MP, Northland's Matt King. But Ardern needs to be satisfied that Faafoi did not put pressure on his former officials in the Immigration Service to help out a mate.
Another casualty of the John Key ministry was Maurice Williamson, who was forced to resign as a minister, when the Herald's Jared Savage revealed that he had made inquiries of the police on behalf of a friend who was being investigated.
It was described by Key as a significant error of judgement - probably because it involved the police.
Neither the Smith case nor the Williamson case have exact parallels with Faafoi's. Each major error of judgment by a minister must be judged on its own and a proportionate response given.
If he gets to keep his job, he will at least have provided a salutary lesson to every minister to keep a better watch of their obligations as ministers and to the Government's reputation.
*An earlier version of this comment incorrectly said that Faafoi was Associate Immigration Minister when had undertaken his communication with Kerrison. He left that job in July.