The last time questions loomed over donations to New Zealand First, the party failed to return to Parliament and the damage to the Government's credibility played a part in National winning in 2008.
The current questions around the New Zealand First Foundation have the potential to undermine both the party and the Coalition in the same way.
For weeks journalists have been attempting to shed light on the foundation, which has generally led to more questions than answers .
The Herald is yet to find answers to why the foundation "loans" money to the party, how the foundation gets its money, whether it is involved in donations to the party and, if so, how those are disclosed.
• Premium - Many questions, no answers about 'opaque' NZ First Foundation
• 'Looks to be in contravention of the Electoral Act': Law professor weighs in on NZ First donations
• NZ First Leader Winston Peters insists party in the clear over electoral donation claims
• Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters promises to 'set the record straight' over electoral donations claims
Now the legality of the foundation's activities is being questioned, and the Electoral Commission has agreed to look into it following a complaint.
The risk of political damage to NZ First is immense, and if there really is nothing to see here, the best response would surely be for Peters to front up.
Instead, he seems to have decided the best way to minimise political damage is to shun questions, claim to be the victim of an unfair media campaign, and rest on what he considers to be the party's clean record.
His repeated claim today that nothing illegal had occurred draws parallels with 2008, when questions around donations from the Spencer Trust and billionaire Owen Glenn plagued the party.
Claire Trevett: NZ First's mystery foundation and the donation law puzzle
Back then, Peters referred to allegations of wrongdoing as " vile, malevolent, evil and wrong ", and said that journalists would eventually eat humble pie, apologise for being wrong, and resign.
Today he referred to 2008 by saying that the party was cleared by the Serious Fraud Office, police and the Electoral Commission.
But he failed to mention Parliament's Privileges Committee, which found by majority that Peters had knowingly filed a false return to Parliament when he failed to declare a $100,000 donation from Glenn.
Compounding the current situation for Peters are the questions about forestry company NZ Future Forest Products, which has close links to NZ First and applied for a $15m loan from NZ First Minister Shane Jones' Provincial Growth Fund.
"Psycho", "stupid", and "psychologically maladjusted" was how Peters responded to journalists' questions about the company, a reaction that was more understandable - yet unnecessarily vitriolic - given that the application was rejected and the conflict of interest issues were appropriately handled.
All this is a headache that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern doesn't need.
The suggestion of poor judgement by Ministers - even if they are NZ First Ministers - does not reflect well on her Government.
It would be a big call for her to call a snap election, or to ask the Auditor-General or the Privileges Committee to investigate the NZ First Foundation, given that it may risk NZ First pulling down the Coalition.
For now she is understandably distancing herself and, like Peters, hoping for a halt to any further potentially damaging revelations about the foundation.
The last thing NZ First or Labour will want is a repeat of 2008, when the donations scandal dominated the election, NZ First's vote fell to 4 per cent, and National won the Treasury benches after John Key ruled out working with NZ First.
Peters will be hoping that the Electoral Commission will report back well before the 2020 campaign and clear the party of any wrongdoing, so that he can justifiably crow to the heavens about how wronged he was.
If the issue remains unresolved by Decision 2020, however, the public may very well consider the party - and the Government - to be damaged goods.
And history may very well repeat.