Shane Jones' transgressions over a conflict of interest may not be a sackable offence on current evidence.
But nor is the issue the beat-up he claims it to be.
It is worrying on several levels.
At the very least, he gave a blatantly misleading answer when he said in writing that he had not attended any formal meetings to do with Manea Footprints of Kupe, when in fact he had.
He had been present at a meeting at which other ministers made a decision a year ago to give the project $4.6 million – for a cultural education centre in Opononi.
"I asked my ministerial colleagues to make the decision on that project in order to manage a conflict of interest," he said in a written answer two months after attending the meeting.
"As such I have had no formal meetings regarding the Manea Footprints of Kupe project since receiving my ministerial warrant."
That is so far removed from reality, Jones should be required by Speaker Trevor Mallard to correct the record and apologise to Parliament on Tuesday.
The conflict of interest in this case was Jones' previous connection to the project which was described in 2015 proposals to the Government and Fairfax news reports at the time as the chairman.
He now denies he was going to be chairman but it was a connection close enough to warrant him seeking verbal advice from the Cabinet Office on how it should be managed.
From Jones' appalling interview on RNZ on Monday, he clearly decided that attack was the best defence.
He conceded nothing except his likeness to Sonny Bill Williams in terms of status in the North.
Not for the first time, he attacked neutral public servants - this time by disputing the notes taken at the meeting he supposedly didn't attend which recorded Jones' participation as offering Finance Minister Grant Robertson "reassurance" on the project's governance.
And he launched an attack on the Stuff journalist who wrote about Manea in 2015 and in 2019, threatening more to come.
Giving a misleading answer to a question is not sackable - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave Clare Curran two chances before the hapless minister buckled under pressure and resigned.
But Jones, as New Zealand First minister in the Coalition and in all probability the next leader of the party, is not so expendable and will have a different standard applied.
The reality is that the standard will be flexible enough for him to pass it every time.