Prince Charles' New Zealand visit cost $766k

Last updated 13:20 12/12/2012

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The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand last month cost tax payers $766,000, about two thirds of what was budgeted.

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla visited New Zealand last month in recognition of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Year.

The Department of Internal Affairs had budgeted $1.05 million for the trip but said today that the trip cost $766,000.

The cost for two international and four domestic flights on a Royal New Zealand Air Force plane and security from New Zealand police were not included in the total costs.

The most expensive cost was in salaries, at $287,000.

This included payments to event advisers, household support, media managers and security personnel.  A New Zealand artist was attached to the delegation at the personal expense of The Prince of Wales. 

An “advance visit” cost $103,000, travel $93,000 and VIP and ground support came to $78,000.

The advance visit, the second highest cost, was a visit by a party from Clarence House in order to review the nature of proposed events, household support, media provisions and security measures, the department said.

New Zealand agreed to meet the costs of Camilla and Charle’s and 15 members of their delegation following conversations with Clarence House.

New Zealand paid for half of the party’s costs from the United Kingdom while the Australian government paid for the other half.

Travel in New Zealand and from Canberra and to Singapore was covered by the air force, which required no additional budget, the department said. 

“The travel was covered by the annual flying hours requirement for Boeing 757 crews to maintain their specified competencies.  Related defence costs were likewise standard components of military training, skills and operational requirements.  Security operations undertaken by New Zealand Police were also covered within their normal operational budget.

“Full use was made of Government House in Auckland, and again in Wellington, to accommodate Their Royal Highnesses and immediate members of the royal household.  Mirroring the approach also adopted in Australia, other members of the delegation and New Zealand counterparts stayed in city hotels.”

Tax payers also covered the costs of 11 foreign media representatives’ ground transport and also accommodated them on three air force flights.

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- The Dominion Post

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