Some government departments have tripled their spending on consultants during the National Party's time in power, despite assurances from the Government that it was not depending more heavily on contractors.

The Treasury was one of the biggest spenders, increasing its payments to consultants from $1.4 million in 2008 - Labour's last year in charge - to $8 million in 2011.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) tripled its consultancy fees in this time frame to $12.6 million. The Environment Ministry was the biggest user of consultants, clocking up $15.7 million in fees in 2011, nearly one-third of its total budget.

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