A ministerial limousine outside Otago Museum in 2011. Photo
by Linda Robertson.
Internal Affairs is refusing to release details of the
shortest and longest chauffeured trips taken in Crown
The department was responding to an Official Information
Information request regarding the VIP Transport Service
fleet, which was valued at $3,278,859.33, as of April 30.
Ministerial and Secretariat Services general manager Janice
Calvert withheld details of longest and shortest individual
chauffeured trips as it might prejudice the department from
carrying out commercial activities.
''Due to the location of the majority of the chauffeur-drive
fleet and the nature of ministerial business there are a
number of short trips recorded by VIP Transport Service based
around inner-city Wellington,'' she said.
The Otago Daily Times has appealed to the Office of
the Ombudsman for the release of that information.
However, the department was able to release individual
kilometre readings of each vehicle. These range from a
Wellington-based car with 57,272km from 1152 trips (49.7km
average), and the Dunedin-based car with 25,800km from 271
The top five passengers who had the most bookings in the 34
BMW cars were Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce,
Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples, Finance Minister Bill
English, Justice Minister Judith Collins and Prime Minister
The Dunedin-based vehicle included bookings in the city as
well as Christchurch and Queenstown, and had been used by
ministers, the Leader of the Opposition, members of the
judiciary, the Governor-General, and guests of Government.
Ms Calvert said typically the department replaced
non-chauffeur driven vehicles at about 60,000km or after four
''No decision has been made on timing or replacement of the
[Crown] fleet,'' she said.
In 2011, it was announced one of the 34 BMW 730LD cars, which
Ms Calvert confirmed was based in Christchurch, would feature
heated rear seats. In 2010, Internal Affairs replaced the
fleet through a deal approved by the former Labour government
three years before.