The tale of the three Cabinet ministers and Labour MP who went to Chinese technology company Huawei's corporate box to watch the rugby is just the latest chapter in a history of unfortunate encounters between MPs and corporate boxes.
The latest register of MPs' interests revealed Ministers Stuart Nash, Kelvin Davis, Nanaia Mahuta and MP Kiri Allan had all partaken of the hospitality of Huawei at rugby or rugby league games.
The attraction of inviting MPs and ministers to the corporate box is because it effectively gives the host about two hours of captive audience, to wine, dine and earbash the MPs in question.
At its least harmful it provides an informal setting for company representatives to get to know MPs face to face, making future contact easier. It is also a chance to "inform" MPs of the company's goals.
Large political donations are a blunt and obvious tool to try to get influence - corporate-box hospitality is a more nuanced affair but still an attempt to get influence.
Many companies entertain MPs in corporate boxes. There is nothing strictly wrong with it, nor are ministers necessarily so easily flattered or susceptible to a beer and canapes.
But the end goal is clear - the power of a potentially sympathetic ear around the Cabinet table should not be overestimated.
In Huawei's case, the hospitality was striking because there was no such hospitality to MPs listed from Huawei in prior years.
The company is not mentioned at all in the registers of Pecuniary Interests from 2018 or 2017. The 2016 entry reveals that in 2015 Huawei flew National MP Chris Bishop - then a new MP - to China to visit its headquarters and to watch the Hong Kong Sevens.
This sudden outburst of corporate hospitality can only be explained by Huawei upping its networking efforts last year as its bid to provide the technology for the 5G network in New Zealand was underway.
That bid was later seriously dented in November when the GCSB issued a warning against Huawei's involvement in such sensitive infrastructure because of its close links with the Chinese Government.
It was also noticeable that only Labour ministers and MPs appeared to be involved.
No National Party MPs listed Huawei among their freebies, although that could be because MPs only list gifts worth more than $500 and some did not assess it as hitting that limit.
Such a ticket is understood to be valued at $250, so only those who took partners would hit the limit.
Other companies with corporate boxes, such as Todd Corporation, NZ Rugby and ASB, had offered up such hospitality in bipartisan fashion.
However, it comes at a time of growing concern and warnings about the Chinese influence on the political scene in other countries including New Zealand and Australia.
On the same day the Register of Pecuniary Interests came out, Beijing-based economist Rodney Jones had spoken about Huawei to MPs on the select committee considering foreign interference in the 2017 election.
Jones described Huawei as a "party-controlled enterprise," referring to the Chinese Communist Party.
The committee also heard from University of Canterbury academic Anne-Marie Brady, who has done extensive research on the "soft power" China was using to get influence in New Zealand through the local Chinese community, as well as through political, business and diplomatic links.
There are now increasing calls to move to try to limit any such influence, including controls on donations from foreign entities made through companies in New Zealand to avoid the current limit of $1,500 on foreign donations.
It is not the first time corporate box visits have come back to bite the MPs concerned.
Back in 2012, Labour was called out for hypocrisy after it was discovered eight Labour MPs enjoyed SkyCity's hospitality during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, including then leader David Shearer.
Labour stridently opposed a deal for SkyCity to boost its pokie machine numbers in return for building a convention centre.
Shearer defended it, saying he had not known of the deal when he accepted the invite and his subsequent criticism showed he had not been influenced by the hospitality.
However, a year later Shearer effectively banned his MPs from the SkyCity box after four Labour MPs were again spotted in there during another rugby game: former leader Phil Goff, former deputy leader Annette King, former MP Clayton Cosgrove and current minister Kris Faafoi.
Prior to that it was National MP Jonathan Coleman in 2006 who went to a U2 concert in the British American Tobacco box. He was punched by a woman after he blew cigar smoke at her.
He may have suffered the most physically, but he ended up becoming the Health Minister.