Bill for Charles and Camilla's visit $766k

Last updated 13:24 12/12/2012
Charles and Camilla
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ON TOUR: Prince Charles and wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

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

Charles and Camilla visited New Zealand last month in recognition of the Queen's diamond jubilee year. The couple spent a day in Christchurch on November 16 visiting the city and the Canterbury A&P Show.

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

The bill for two international and four domestic flights on an air force plane and security by police were not included in the total cost.

The biggest expense was 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 Prince Charles.

An "advance visit" cost $103,000, international and domestic travel $93,000 and VIP and ground support $78,000.

The advance visit, the second-highest cost, was a visit by a party from Clarence House 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 and 15 members of their delegation after talks with Clarence House.

New Zealand paid for half of the party's costs from Britain, and the Australian Government paid for the other half.

Travel in New Zealand, 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,'' it said.

"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."

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

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