National's new Tauranga MP Sam Uffindell is not the first politician to learn that skeletons have an untidy habit of lurching out of closets with a horrifying rattle once you enter politics.
Ask Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was crucified after photos of him wearing blackface in 2001 emerged again in 2019.
Now just one week after he delivered his maiden speech at Parliament, Uffindell's past has come back – and put a plate of trouble on National leader Christopher Luxon's table.
Uffindell was kicked out of Kings College – or rather "asked to leave" - for beating up a third former when he was 16, back in 1999.
Stuff revealed it and interviewed the man he beat up, who was understandably sceptical about whether an apology Uffindell offered him last year was genuine or for political expedience.
Uffindell is now fronting up and using the right words – saying it was one of the "dumbest and stupidest things I've ever done," something he "deeply regrets," that he had apologised for the harm and was grateful he accepted the apology.
"My apology was genuine then, and it is genuine now."
But it is a belated fronting up. The National Party has confirmed he revealed it to them during the selection process - although if he downplayed it, the selection panel may well have questions to ask. It is not yet clear whether Luxon was told of it.
But Uffindell didn't front up to the people he wanted to vote for him in that Tauranga byelection at the time. That is either gutsy or foolish: Uffindell himself has now said he thought it might have come out during the byelection.
He had a lot of opportunities to front up earlier – although they were not necessarily politically convenient times.
The Bay of Plenty Times did a Q+A with the Tauranga candidates in the lead-up to the byelection. One question was about their biggest mistake.
Act's candidate Cam Luxton spoke about his drink-driving conviction.
Uffindell's response was: "Not coming home to New Zealand sooner. There's nowhere we'd rather raise our kids."
The next question was what advice he would give his 18-year-old self. His answer was a glib: "don't grow that straggly ginger mullet at uni then wonder why Julia doesn't fancy you."
Luxon has stayed silent on the matter so far, but will not be able to do so for long. It has ended a weekend of good news.
It is a very untidy state of affairs, just as Luxon is trying to convince people National is ready to govern again and has put the rogue candidate days behind it.
The latest 1 News Kantar Public poll shows that is not a fait accompli.
Luxon has pulled National up from the 20s to a solid 37 and together with Act, that is enough to form a Government on the poll. But that was as much because Labour's poll result was dire than because National's was strong. National's support had dipped since the May poll after a messy few weeks for Luxon.
The support for Luxon is not yet baked in - or rising – and voters reminded him that Act remained a viable alternative. As National dipped, Act went up four points in the same poll, and NZ First also bumped up.
The Uffindell issue is another distraction he does not need, a day after preaching the need for discipline and focus at his party conference.
Uffindell may well survive as National's Tauranga MP, unless the selection panel feels he misled them – or unless more comes to light.
The bigger question is whether the voters who ticked his name feel misled and whether they can be convinced that his show of penitence for it now is genuine.