"Caesar's wife must be above suspicion," as the proverb goes.
The proverb was born out of allegations Caesar's wife might have engaged in - ahem - sacrilegious activity - an affront to the Roman gods and the state religion, certainly not something you want to be associated with if you're Caesar.
In secular New Zealand, where the Covid response is the closest thing we have to a state religion, it would be wise for political spouses to be as far away from the grit of the response as possible.
Clarke Gayford, shortly to be married to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, got himself in trouble over the summer break. One of Gayford's friends called Gayford from a pharmacy to discuss rapid antigen tests with the pharmacist.
The pharmacist's side of the story, told in a Facebook post, was that a group of musicians who were potential close contacts of a Covid-19 case wanted a quick, non-invasive, rapid antigen test (RAT).
When the pharmacist said that RATs were not advised for close contacts and an old-fashioned, invasive, slow PCR nasal swab was required, one of the group put Gayford on speakerphone to talk to the pharmacist.
Gayford did not give his version of that call but did not deny or correct the recollection of events from the pharmacist.
The pharmacist alleged Gayford had said the advice had changed and that rapid tests could now be used in this situation - this was incorrect. RATs became available in community pharmacies on December 15 last year, but the advice for close contacts is to get a PCR.
Gayford has since apologised for any "issues and confusion".
Spouses occupy an awkward place in New Zealand politics. They don't have the role and infrastructure of an American First Lady, nor do I think many would want it. But as politics becomes further celebrified, voters will seek to know more about their politicians' spouses - and ambitious politicians are quite happy to volunteer at least a part of themselves for public consumption.
Deciding how much is too much and what is and isn't too political is becoming a more difficult question to navigate.
But as a minimum, Gayford must be seen to be upholding the values that underpin his partner's response to the Covid outbreak in his interactions with his friends and the wider public.
Ardern has repeatedly erred on the side of caution when it comes to Covid-19. It has meant that New Zealanders possibly dealt with harsher restrictions than we might have wanted, but enjoyed greater freedoms and a more successful response as a result.
Ardern, and those closest to her must be seen to understand and support those same rules. In this case, according to the pharmacist's version of events, Gayford has at the very least, made the case for rules he did not understand.
Gayford is right that some "confusion" has arisen from his conversation with the pharmacists - confusion over how much he understands or is prepared to abide by the strict measures the country has been living under.
It's a confusion both Gayford and Ardern should clear up quickly.