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Kiwis will be ok with royal costs - Governor General

Published: 10:13AM Wednesday November 14, 2012 Source: ONE News

The Governor General says he thinks New Zealanders will be ok with footing the bill for the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall's tour of the country.

Sixty four New Zealanders will join Prince Charles for his 64th birthday bash at Wellington's Government House today, including Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae who shares his birthday with the Prince.

The cost of the royal couple's trip will be revealed in a few weeks' time, after they have left New Zealand.

When asked if New Zealanders will be ok with the costs associated with the trip Sir Jerry said: "I think so."

Prime Minister John Key said earlier this week that "it costs quite a lot".

"But I think that is realistic when you think how far they are coming and the number of people they bring, the size of the operation. The size is significant."

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Among the expenses, Key confirmed, is the services of Camilla's stylist.

While the future king is paying for the services of stylist Hugh Green, Kiwi taxpayers are paying for his accommodation and travel after flying to Auckland for the six-day visit.

"The royal entourage travelled with a hairdresser for the Duchess," Key said.

While Prince Charles and Camilla's visit is causing some to question whether it is time for New Zealand to become a republic, a ONE News/Colmar Brunton published just before the visit showed no sign of wavering in New Zealand's loyalty to the monarchy.

The poll indicates that 70% of New Zealanders want to keep the Queen as head of state.

Only 19% of the 1000 polled supported New Zealand becoming a republic, while 7% were unsure.

The poll shows New Zealanders are less enthused with becoming a republic than they were in 2008 when 25% voted in favour of becoming a republic.

Sir Jerry said he thinks the monarchy is still important and relevant to New Zealand, and the recent poll indicates this.

"I think visits like this one when New Zealanders are seeing the head of state and her representatives I think they all resonate for New Zealanders," he told TV ONE's Breakfast programme.

"I think we get a tremendous amount out of having the relationship that we have with the Crown, with the Queen and the royal family as our head of state."

He said he thinks Prince Charles has a sense of belonging to New Zealand.

Key greeted the royal couple when they landed at Whenuapai Air Base on Saturday night.

Charles, whom he described as "thoroughly charming", was last in New Zealand in 2005. It is Camilla's first trip here.