Wills and Kate's dinner is on us

Last updated 16:41 14/04/2014
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Bluff oysters, whitebait, a lamb rack and pavlova with hokey pokey ice cream will be on the menu when Prime Minister John Key hosts the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for dinner tonight. 

But what has been billed as a private dinner was actually being paid for by the taxpayer, he conceded.

The royal couple have been touring Christchurch today where they met families of the 2011 earthquake victims and managed to fit in a quick game of cricket.

Tonight they will sit down to dine with Key, his wife Bronagh and son Max at Premier House. 

Key said the menu would be a "showcase of New Zealand".

"Lots of appetisers - bluff oysters and whitebait, things like that.

"The main course is rack lamb or snapper and the dessert is pavlova with hokey pokey ice cream."

He said the dinner was being catered by Ruth Pretty, at a cost to the tax payer.

When pressed on whether the dinner was private, Key said it "sort of is and it sort of isn't".

"My understanding is they were certainly keen to catch up, they were certainly keen to have something that was relaxed and in a fun environment.

"We were keen for them to come to the house [in Parnell], but they've been based in Wellington so it didn't suit their schedule."

Key said he did not know how much the dinner was costing.

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