Taxpayers will be picking up the bill for The Duchess of Cornwall's personal hairdresser while she tours New Zealand.
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, are visiting New Zealand this week as part of the Queen's Jubilee celebrations.
The New Zealand Government is paying for the costs associated with their six-day visit, including the Duchess' hairdresser, who is paid to travel with the royal entourage.
"The reality is it costs quite a lot but I think that is realistic when you think about how far they're coming and the number of people they bring, the size of the operation. The size is significant," Key told Newstalk ZB.
He said the staff requirements were appropriate, given the number of functions the royals would be attending.
While Key said the cost of the tour wouldn't be released until after the visit, Ponsonby hair salon Stephen Marr said a haircut alone would be worth between $90 and $130.
The royal couple will spend the day in Auckland where they will be walking from lower Queen Street to Queens Wharf en route to The Cloud. Tonight they will attend a Diamond Jubilee Trust dinner at SkyCity.