Not many MPs can claim to have had a gun pointed at them – even fewer could say their first thoughts when looking down the barrel was "this is great television".
But that was the case for East Coast Bays MP Erica Stanford one night at a party in Auckland.
She wasn't there for the festivities; she was on the job.
As a producer of the now-cancelled TV3 reality TV show Noise Control, Erica's job put her in the middle of more than a few hairy situations.
The premise of the show was simple enough; Erica and a camera operator would tail the noise control team around Auckland and film their encounters.
It was essentially a less intense version of Police Ten 7.
"We just got to bust in on people's noisy parties and hang out with them for an hour and film everything they're doing," she says over a halloumi salad at the Backbencher pub in Wellington.
And most of the time, that's all it was – people partying a bit too hard.
Once, she filmed a group of young revellers playing what she called the "spinny wheel of death" game – where sacks of cask wine are pegged to a rotating washing line and spun.
Whoever the bag stops at, has to scull – "they were all pretty wrecked".
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But it was not always so innocuous.
"We went to gang houses, we went to all sorts. Once, we had a gun pointed at us in one house."
She suspected the man with the gun was on drugs and said as much in the voiceover in her piece.
Erica and the cameraman did not stick around long after that – "we high-tailed it out of there and called the police".
But she was clearly still wearing her producer cap during the incident because all she had been thinking was: "This is great television."
"At the time it was like, 'oh my gosh this is going to make for a great episode', which is probably a terrible thing to think given the danger we were in."
And she was right – the episode was one of the most-watched of the season.
But not everyone was happy – least of all the man with the gun, who complained to the Broadcasting Standards Authority.
According to the complaint, the gun that was brandished was not loaded and was, in fact, an old World War II rifle which no longer worked.
The complaint was dismissed.
Erica also harked back to a rather rowdy punk party, where the house was "being trashed".
"The house was so disgusting, there were maggots in the carpet; these were real punks, filth was their thing."
But she said those at the party were lovely people; "It's just that was their thing, that was their culture."
(See for yourself, the video is below)
Erica's work as a reality TV producer was her "fill-in mum job" – she worked nights and would come home to her 2-year-old daughter, who was being cared for by her husband, the next morning.
She did this for a number of years on a variety of different shows, including Piha Rescue, where she worked for six or seven years as a scriptwriter.
But even with such an entertaining job, she couldn't resist the pull of politics.
In 2013, she started working in the electorate office of former National MP and Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully as a senior MP supporter.
It was one of three jobs she was juggling at the time, as well as being a mother of two young kids.
"I have always found that I don't like downtime. I like to be busy I like to have stuff to do."
She worked with McCully for four years before she decided it was her time to have a crack at Parliament herself.
After McCully retired from Parliament in 2017, she was selected as the National candidate and won the seat.
Erica still has a good relationship with McCully – a man she describes as her mentor.
And it's clear they're still friends, if her friendly jab at him in her maiden speech back in 2017 is anything to go by.
"For 30 years he [McCully] was a hard-working and well respected local MP, evident in the fact that he left Parliament with an impressive majority of over 15,000, which is a monumental effort and ... just shy of my very first majority of 16,000," she said.
Although many of the jokes in that speech were influenced by her high-school sweetheart husband, that one, she says, she came up with all on her own.
She also used her maiden speech to get out her approach to politics.
"I come to this House with an open mind," she said.
"My outlook is not restricted by the blinkers of inflexible political ideology. Rather, I am a firm believer in the importance of constantly scanning for great ideas that can so often lie in the periphery of our vision."
Erica is clearly on the more progressive side of the National Party – something she freely admits. She voted yes on both the abortion and the euthanasia conscience votes.
"The Nats are a broad church," she says.
"They have some people at one end of the spectrum, and others way at the other end."
After a mouthful of salad, she says it's important that all parties in the House are able to work together, particularly when it comes to environmental issues.
Erica is on the environmental select committee and is very keenly involved in developing National's environmental policies.
Although she says her blood "runs blue and it always will", she says that it has always had a touch of green.
"Maybe it's a tealy blue," she says after a small pause.
Time for some quick-fire questions.
What are you watching on Netflix or other streaming service?
Nothing at the moment, although I just finished the Handmaid's Tale.
What book are you reading? No books at the moment; I'm reading the Government's water policy (10 points for an on-brand answer).
Who is New Zealand's best-ever Prime Minister? John Key (another 10 points).
If you could change one thing about New Zealand, what would it be? New Zealand should stop sending things to landfills.
Will you ever be the Prime Minister? Yes! (She clarifies her answer is tongue and cheek and that there are very many great people within National who could be Prime Minister).
If you could have one meal at the Backbencher named after you, what would it be? Stanford's Sweet Surprise – it would be a hot chocolate fudge cake.