Taxpayers not covering Camilla's hairstyle

IMMACULATE HAIR: The Duchess of Cornwall arrives in New Zealand.
IMMACULATE HAIR: The Duchess of Cornwall arrives in New Zealand.

Prince Charles' spokesman has quelled suggestions New Zealand taxpayers are paying for the Duchess of Cornwall's hair do, saying only the hairdresser's travel-related costs are being met.

The issue was raised today when Prime Minister John Key confirmed a hairdresser was part of the official entourage travelling with Charles, Prince of Wales and his wife Camilla, who arrived in New Zealand on Saturday as part of the Queen's Jubilee year celebrations.

The New Zealand Government was paying for the associated costs of their six-day visit.

Key said he could only release details of the cost of the trip after the royal couple left New Zealand.

"They have quite a lot of staff and that is appropriate, sort of what they need given the number of functions," he told Newstalk ZB.

"The reality is it costs quite a lot but I think that is realistic when you think how far they are coming and the number of people they bring, the size of the operation. The size is significant."

However, Prince Charles' press secretary Patrick Harrison today said the prince paid the salary of the hairdresser and the New Zealand Government was only picking up the "in country costs".

That included his travel on a New Zealand Air Force aircraft and accommodation at Government House, Harrison said.

Key greeted the royal couple when they landed at Whenuapai Air Base on Saturday night.

Charles, whom he described as "thoroughly charming", was last in New Zealand in 2005. It is Camilla's first trip here.

The royal couple were spending today in Auckland.

The Dominion Post