Should taxpayers foot the bill for Prince Charles and wife Camilla's visit here?
Officials are refusing to say how much the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall's visit to New Zealand will cost.
Prince Charles and wife Camilla will visit in November as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year celebrations.
Ministerial Services, the organisation in charge of logistics and funding for the trip, appeared before a select committee yesterday but said it was too early to say how much the visit would cost taxpayers.
No extra funding has been allocated to cover it. It is understood that the cost of the royal visit would be high because Prince Charles refuses to fly on scheduled commercial flights.
General manager Janice Calvert said the programme and costings were yet to be finalised.
"I think it's too soon to say at this point in time. It's a major visit – he is representing the Queen as part of the jubilee year, it's not a small royal visit."
Internal Affairs chief executive Colin MacDonald said it would try to meet the cost as best as it could from within existing baselines. The department is the parent body of Ministerial Services.
"If there was a requirement, to meet the expectations of the visitors, that caused us to look elsewhere then we would look elsewhere [for money]."
Government administration committee chairwoman Ruth Dyson said that was surprising.
"I'm a little frustrated that you haven't got a clue, to be honest, how much it might cost. It is this year. It's this calendar year."
The department must have an idea of the cost based on previous visits and the planning done so far, she said.
The information is expected to be made public after the visit. Fairfax NZ
- © Fairfax NZ News
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