The faux outrage over Tim Groser hosting a so-called lavish dinner at which Patagonian tooth fish was served is absurd.
Critics probably don't think of themselves as "food Nazis", but trawling through the Trade Minister's credit-card receipts and beating up on him for eating a protected fish - when in fact the Chilean sea bass is legally sold internationally - paints a miserable and petty picture.
Groser can't recall whether it was he or one of his two guests who ate the offending fish or, quelle horreur, enjoyed foie gras.
When you've been carrying the bag overseas for New Zealand as Trade Minister and the Minister for Climate Change Negotiations, it seems reasonable not to remember which item you ate on which menu at the many hotels and restaurants along the way.
The point about Chilean sea bass - a good choice, by the way; I've eaten it in Chile and Argentina and it is delicious - is that it is legally fished within quota limits like many other species, and has been by New Zealand companies in Antarctic waters.
The New Zealand Government is pushing for a marine protected area (MPA) in the Ross Sea.
But as Foreign Minister Murray McCully has said, "The proposal would enable the tooth-fish fishery to continue in areas outside the MPA."
Reputable restaurants check the international certification to ensure that Chilean sea bass, as Patagonian tooth fish is marketed, is legally caught by quota holders and not by the cowboys who plunder our oceans.
Neither the menu, nor the $300 all-up cost, was over the top. The cost of the entrees and mains was no more than you would pay in any trendy restaurant in Auckland's Federal St.
It wouldn't raise an eyebrow on expense claims for executives on international assignments; nor should it for a trade minister.
Then there is the other so-called food crime. Foie gras has been eaten for centuries in France. Everyone doesn't have to fall into line just because animal rights protesters want to ban the force-feeding of geese.
The criticism that really takes the cake is over the SG$95 ($89.50) bottle of Central Otago pinot noir. In New Zealand, the same bottle of Locharburn pinot noir sells for $35 to $38, but wine is very expensive in Singapore because of high taxes. It's like a parallel universe.
Here's the thing: while the focus has been on Groser, there has been little questioning of National MP Claudette Hauiti - who racked up more than $30,000 on travel and accommodation in three months and put charges from a personal trip to Australia on her taxpayer-funded charge card - will leave Parliament at the election facing no inquiry at all because the Government doesn't want dirty linen aired.
When Parliament's Assistant Speaker, Ross Robertson, urged an MPs' code of conduct in his valedictory speech in Parliament, it was reasonable to assume that transgressors like Hauiti may have been in his sights.
(One MP suddenly resigned when questions were asked about the use of travel privileges.)
Robertson also cited a couple of MPs who had gone to jail while maintaining to the courts that they had done nothing wrong.
It's notable that one former MP, convicted fraudster Donna Awatere Huata, is back on the fringes of the Internet-Mana alliance.
We have a bizarre situation where there is little questioning over Kim Dotcom's bankrolling a bunch of political misfits with $3 million and paying some the equivalent of a backbench MP's salary to stand for the Internet Party. Instead, the focus is on a non-event.