Labour's leadership contest roadshow in November last year carried less of a punch to the taxpayer's wallet than the last runoff in 2013 - a factor attributed to the post-election wind down.
The latest release of MPs spending on travel and accommodation shows overall Labour's caucus spent $258,000 on air travel from October to December, the quarter in which the contest took place.
That compares to $331,400 in 2013 when the first contest took place between David Cunliffe, Grant Robertson and Shane Jones.
The winner of the contest, Andrew Little, spent $11,408 on air travel over the three month period in which the contest was held. He was elected leader half way through on November 18.
Of the other contenders Grant Robertson spent $10,863 - about $3000 more than the same quarter the year before. David Parker spent $11,804 which was about $3000 less than the 2013 quarter. Nanaia Mahuta spent the least on just $5896 - also about $3000 less than 2013.
Labour's leadership run-offs require those contesting it to travel nationwide over a fortnight to speak to party members. The MPs can use their Parliamentary travel to do so but must pay for their own accommodation.
In the 2013 run off several MPs had travelled to the centres the contestants were speaking at to attend the leadership shows. That contributed to a a $22,000 spike in travel costs compared to the same quarter a year earlier.
A spokeswoman for Labour said caucus was not told they were not allowed to travel for the contest this time round and the drop was probably because of travel-weariness in the wake of the election campaign.
Politicians have unlimited domestic air travel and can use it for personal as well as work purposes, although in general they should have a Parliamentary purpose for any spending.
Across all of Parliament the post-election slump was kinder on the taxpayer purse following a spike in costs during the election campaign. Ministers spent a total of $780,661 domestically - down from $900,000 in the election quarter before it. However, Ministers also spent $657,539 on international travel - which was about $100,000 more than in the election quarter.
Prime Minister John Key's domestic expenses were the highest at $48,100 but well down on the $70,000 he spent in the election quarter. He also had $28,000 in international travel. Foreign Minister Murray McCully spent $127,000 on international travel as the successful Security Council bid wound up.
MPs who are not ministers spent a total of $1.4 million on travel and accommodation - down from $1.5 million in the election quarter. Whanganui MP Chester Borrows was highest spending with a total of $26,618. Mr Borrows said that was primarily because he drove himself to save money and his had put in a backlog of six months worth of mileage claims.
Wellington-based MP Annette King's travel costs were higher than usual at $12,823. She said that included the cost of flights to Poland in January as part of New Zealand's delegation for Auschwitz commemorations. MPs can still use taxpayer subsidised international travel perks if it is primarily for work purposes and has the approval of the Speaker.
Former Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira regularly topped the table of spending by MPs who were not ministers. His successor in Te Tai Tokerau, Labour's Kelvin Davis, was the second highest spending MP although his spending was only about half of Mr Harawira's.
Mr Harawira regularly notched up more than $50,000 in travel and accommodation. Mr Davis spent $24,860 - marginally more than the third costliest - Dunedin MP David Clark.
MPs in Northland and the South Island tend to have higher travel costs than others because of the number of flights to get to Wellington.
MPs spending October 1 to end December 2014.
Top spending ministers (travel and accommodation costs)
Foreign Minister Murray McCully: $150,297 - including $127,000 on international travel.
Trade Minister Tim Groser: $103,593 - including $75,200 on international travel.
Police Minister Michael Woodhouse: $91,714 - including $66,000 on international travel.
Finance Minister Bill English: $80,220 - including $51,400 on international travel
Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee: $77,238 - including $59,000 on international travel.
Prime Minister John Key: $76,270 - including $35,600 on Crown limos and $28,200 on international travel
Overall cost of ministers, including international travel: $1.44 million
Top spending MPs (travel and accommodation)
National's Chester Borrows: $26,618
Labour's Kelvin Davis: $24,860
Labour's David Clark: $23,837
Labour's David Cunliffe: $23,265 (was leader for part of the quarter)
National's Melissa Lee: $22,215
Overall cost of MPs: $1.5 million