Reality TV presenter Clarke Gayford has received a sharp lesson in perception as reality over an ill-considered attempt to wrangle rapid antigen tests from a chemist for some friends.
Even as a television "personality", his actions would have been uncouth. As the Prime Minister's fiance, it reeks of exploiting his position and rightly becomes a political embarrassment. As a public health adviser, he was also wrong.
He may feel he was only phoning in some advice as an everyday mate of the musos but few in the public sphere would perceive it that way. The pharmacist cannot help but feel he was being leveraged by a prominent person, with a close friend in a high place, to override a current health advisory.
Publically, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has nothing to say about the chemist shop conversation but it would not be surprising to hear Gayford is currently taking on more domestic chores at Premier House.
There may also be concerns about a pharmacist sharing a clients' conversation in a "private" Facebook group. How many of our dealings with health professionals are being similarly shared? Surely, his stated intentions - to ask colleagues whether they were aware of any changes to the health guidance - could have been done without identifying individuals?
Ultimately, Gayford cast himself as a saviour to his pals but snagged only his jandal-clad left toe. He has apologised for "issues and confusion" but he needs to back that contrition up by telling his friends to follow the rules and leave him out of their consultations.