Unfulfilled promises made by Kris Faafoi to longtime mate Jason Kerrison have put not only their friendship on the line but the Broadcasting Minister's job too.
Text messages obtained by Newshub show Faafoi appears to have breached Cabinet rules by offering to help Kerrison with his family's declined immigration case.
An offer to "speed things up" was among reassurances made by the former Associate Immigration Minister to Kerrison, who spoke to Newshub in October about his step-father's partnership visa application being declined.
Messages Faafoi sent to the singer of Kiwi band Opshop ask for details of the case before he says he has a plan and promises to talk to the right people.
In one communication on Facebook, Kerrison sent a direct message to Faafoi drawing his attention to a post with Newshub's article.
Faafoi replied: "Hey bro - I will make a call on Monday. I know it is genuine as I know you travelled for the wedding a few years back. I will talk to the people that can speed things up."
Kerrison's mother, Jude Kerrrison, and Mich Obadiah met online in 2009. She's visited him in Kenya eight times, and they were married in an intimate ceremony more than two years ago.
But Immigration NZ questioned the legitimacy and credibility of their relationship.
"I understand his personal situation to be genuine and I think he did have a case, which is why I offered to speak to his local MP," Faafoi told Newshub.
Facebook messages between Faafoi and Kerrison show them discussing the immigration case, but he denies offering to do an immigration favour for a friend.
But Faafoi asked Kerrsison to "Yes - can you please send me surname and immagration nz file number [sic]" - which Kerrison did, before the conversation moved to texts.
Faafoi and Kerrison also discussed the case in a Facebook phone call.
When Kerrison thanks him, Faafoi replies "Whanau whanau brother."
In November the conversation moves to text. Faafoi assures Kerrison "Im on it bri... o (BRO)."
But then things go cold.
Kerrison asks: "Hi bro how're we doing"... "Where are we at" and repeats back to Faafoi "Whanau whanau mate."
It's after that on November 15 that Faafoi assures Kerrison, "Bro, its moving. I can't put anything in writing".
Faafoi told Newshub on Thursday: "I think he's been trying to contact me but I haven't been responding because it wouldn't be appropriate."
The Cabinet Manual - the ministerial rule book - is clear "a conflict may arise if people close to a minister, such as .. whānau, or close associates, might derive, or be perceived as deriving .. personal, financial, or other benefit from a decision or action by the minister or the Government."
It also says "it may not be appropriate for ministers to participate in decision-making on matters affecting family members, whānau, or close associates, for example, by:(a) attempting to intercede on their behalf on some official matter".
Faafoi's predecessor as broadcasting minister Clare Curran was sacked from Cabinet for not disclosing a meeting set up using her personal email account.
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister told Newshub she has "clear expectations of her ministers to uphold the highest standards at all times".
She's had her own private messages grief with Derek Handley - a guy going for a senior Government role, messages with rapper Tom Scott about policy and messages from Richie Hardcore about the Karel Sroubek immigration case.
Now more questions are circulating about another high profile Kiwi with direct access to Government.