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Prince Charles and Camilla's NZ flights top $400k

Published: 4:52PM Thursday January 17, 2013 Source: ONE News

The cost to the New Zealand Air Force of transporting Prince Charles and his wife Camilla topped $425,000, the Republican Movement says.

The organisation received figures under an Official Information Act request which show flights for the royal couple bring the cost of their trip to New Zealand taxpayers to over $1 million.

The Department of Internal Affairs spent $766,000 during the tour of the country in November, making the total cost of the six day visit $1,191,000.

"Charles' five day long 2005 tour cost taxpayers $50,000 a day. This recent tour was $200,000 a day," said Republican Movement chairman Lewis Holden.

"On top of unnecessary public relations bills to the New Zealand taxpayer, there's Charles' transport costs - all because Charles doesn't want to fly commercially. When the Queen last visited New Zealand in 2002, she came on a commercial Air New Zealand flight."

The OIA figures, which have been seen by ONE News, show the Royal New Zealand Air Force flew the Prince and Duchess from Australia to New Zealand and internally within New Zealand, as well as flying them from Christchurch to the UK, via Singapore.

Holden branded the trip a publicity failure and "waste of taxpayers' money".

"Even after all the spending, the publicity tour failed to shift public support for Charles," he said.

"Polling we commissioned shows support for Charles as New Zealand's next head of state was unchanged after the tour and support for a New Zealand head of state had gone up.

"This tour was a waste of taxpayers' money, used to promote someone only one in five New Zealanders want as our head of state."