It's hard to know why Paula Bennett's innocuous comments about tipping in a letter to the Herald provoked such an over-reaction this week.
Perhaps it was an easier issue for the average talkback host to get their head around than the suicide rate, problems in the mental health system or GST on tampons.
Bennett, acting in her capacity as Minister of Tourism and Thinking Out Loud, said, "I always tip for excellent service and encourage others to, too."
How very dare she?
Umbrage was taken at the highest possible volume.
She clarified on Twitter: "I'm not suggesting it's compulsory or replaces wages or that we tip a %" and said it should be optional and pointed out the practice is already here (presumably lest anyone think she had invented the concept).
You could be forgiven for believing she'd suggested ripping up the Treaty of Waitangi and using it to line her sock drawer.
The outrage continued, tweet after dreary tweet. Admittedly, this being her Twitter feed, the standard of debate was less than elevated. One person, for instance, said they thought tipping was okay if the tipper could afford it.
Speaking of intellectually challenged debate, Bennett, who is also Minister of Police, lowered the bar later with comments on methamphetamine.
It's "absolutely horrific" apparently.
Effective ways of reducing P use are notoriously hard to find.
But one way not to deal with P is to repeat myths like those in this statement from Bennett: "P ... is one hit and you are hooked. And it takes an average seven years to get off that addictive substance."
This is the equivalent of telling a child pulling a face that if the wind changes it will stay like that, or that if they pick their nose Donald Trump will get them.
They know it's not true and lose respect for the person lying to them.
Scaremongering misinformation is no more effective on adults than it is on children. It obscures the real facts and makes it harder to have an intelligent and productive debate.
Meth can indeed be a horrific drug. Acknowledging this could lead one to think that easing up on marijuana laws could help reduce P use.
But Bennett, unfortunately, isn't allowed to say that.
"Don't go near any of them," she advises, parroting the unproductive prohibitionist line. In fact, she'd have to say that even if she didn't believe it.
Latest Drug Foundation figures show meth use has gone down. The percentage of New Zealanders using P fell by more than half between 2009 and 2014, but there is good reason to think that in some areas at least it has increased.
A marijuana drought in the Far North is alleged to have driven up prices to the point it's cheaper to get high on P. As if that area doesn't have enough problems.
The National Government last year put $15 million into 15 wide-ranging initiatives for dealing with drugs, most focused onP.
Labour's policy for dealing with P is more police. That's it.
More police, new border strategies, better treatment services for addicts and education programmes are all effective to some extent.
But the only lasting solution is to wipe out demand altogether. And while thousands live in cycles of poverty, abuse and domestic violence, a cheap meth high is always going to be a more attractive option, leading to more lives blighted and hearts broken.