Prime Minister John Key says Prince William's visit with his
family to New Zealand will be "tremendous value for money"
despite costing the taxpayer an estimated $1 million.
The Duke of Cambridge will spend nine days in the country
next month with his wife Catherine and 8-month-old baby son
They will be based at Government House in Wellington but will
make day trips around the country, including to Auckland for
a spot of America's Cup match-racing and to Queenstown for a
Shotover jet boat ride.
The cost to taxpayers will not be known until after the
visit, but is estimated to be about $1 million - higher than
the cost of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall's
visit last year, which cost $766,000.
Mr Key told TV3's Firstline today it would be money well
"I think it's tremendous value for money. In the end, these
royal visits aren't cheap, whether it's Prince Charles and
Camilla or in previous times when the Queen has come to New
"But on the other side of the coin, if you look at what will
happen over the course of that 10 days, New Zealand will get
tremendous international coverage.
"There will be a large media pack that will follow William
and Kate and baby George. Those photos and images will be
beamed around the world.
"And I remember the first time that Prince William came to
New Zealand, on the first overseas visit to represent the
Queen, there was a huge media pack and media interest with
him. And the estimates were millions and millions and
millions of pounds a day of marketing coverage for New
Mr Key said the visit would be promoting New Zealand.
"One day, William will be the King of New Zealand - that's
the way these things work - so he's got very legitimate
interests to visit New Zealand."