Green MP Ricardo Menéndez March wasn't alone in his attempt to jump the long queue for a spot in managed isolation after a difficult trip to visit ill family in Mexico.
A senior Green MP also wrote a letter to the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) which oversees immigration, saying he needed to get back for work, and it's opened the Greens up to allocations of undue influence.
Menéndez March's recent trip home to Mexico was tough. He travelled there to be with his father who recently underwent major surgery and his step mum who has been battling breast cancer.
"My mum has been battling with cancer for quite some time and she has had a rebout, and my dad has also been sick," he told Newshub on Thursday.
The decision to go wasn't easy either.
"I had to make the incredibly difficult decision to choose to travel to see my sick parents over the summer," he said.
Menéndez March is back in New Zealand now and nearing the end of his stay in isolation at the Christchurch Novotel. He hadn't booked a spot when he left the country and attempted to secure an emergency one from Mexico - arguing as an MP he's an essential worker.
"The running of public service I do believe is work," he says.
Menéndez March says he wasn't trying to get special privileges as an MP.
"No, what I was simply doing is getting through the streams that are available for anyone to apply."
But MPs aren't just anyone. They hold immense power and Menéndez March had another powerful person in his corner.
In response to his application to skip the quarantine queue, senior Green MP Jan Logie wrote a letter to MBIE on Green Party letterhead, saying Menéndez March is expected back at Parliament by February 9, and that the Greens don't have the numbers to facilitate a missing MP so "it's very important to us Ricardo is back".
National MP Chris Bishop is questioning if the letter was appropriate.
"There's so many New Zealanders out there trying to come home for so many heart-breaking reasons and I think it's just a simple question of fairness and inappropriate for Jan Logie to write a letter trying to influence the outcome of a process in which there's so few spots available," he told Newshub.
Greens co-leader Marama Davidson says Logie "absolutely wasn't asking for an emergency at all".
Davidson said, "She was asked to provide - like every applicant has to - an employer evidence statement about Ricardo's job."
After Logie wrote her letter, the chief executive of MBIE Carolyn Tremain made a special call to Greens co-leader James Shaw, who said Menéndez March shouldn't be given any special treatment.
"I'm glad James Shaw as co-leader exerted absolute influence so say no special treatment should be given," Davidson said.
When asked if it was to kibosh the influence Logie had exerted, Davidson said: "No need to kibosh anything."
And despite applying for the emergency allocation, Menéndez March says he's glad he didn't get it.
"In my case, I'm really glad that no special privilege was given to the assessment of my application," he said.
An MP treated like the rest of us - when MPs simply are not.