Government ministers are spending almost $10,000 a day on overseas trips, with the cost at the highest level since the figures became available.
Ministerial expenses for the three months to September 30 were released today, showing that ministers had spent $947,714 on state-funded overseas travel approved by the Cabinet.
The latest quarter means that in the 12 months to September 30, the total cost of overseas travel by ministers was $3,589,848, or $9835 a day.
It is the highest year of international spending since the figures began being released, starting with the final quarter of 2009.
Two ministers with internationally focused portfolios were responsible for more than a third of the spending, with Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully clocking up costs of $212,609 in three months, while Trade Minister Tim Groser cost $151,246.
McCully is leading New Zealand's bid for a seat on the UN Security Council, although his spending in the current quarter was almost $50,000 less than it was in the three months to June 30.
Groser was this year involved in his own bid to become director-general of the World Trade Organisation, and since then his spending has tailed off, having spent $248,838 in the three months to March 31.
The figures include spending by National ministers as well as ACT leader John Banks, UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne and Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia and former co-leader Pita Sharples.
The figures also reveal each minister's domestic travel and accommodation expenses.
In the most recent quarter the costs were highest for Turia and Sharples, who charged expenses of $60,816 and $62,648 respectively. The next most expensive ministers were Justice Minister Judith Collins at $54,644 and Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye at $52,229.
Who's spending what:
- © Fairfax NZ News
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