The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is considering buying another new property for a diplomat in the United States, this time in Los Angeles.
A spokesman confirmed the ministry was considering a new residence for Leon Grice, the consul-general in Los Angeles, because the current home needed "major works."
He said the ministry had owned a residence in Los Angeles since 1973.
"It is appropriate therefore to consider a wide range of options including alternative premises for purchase or rental."
Once that was done the ministry's chief executive, Brook Barrington, would make a decision "being mindful of the best value for the taxpayer".
The ministry is already under fire from Opposition politicians for its purchase of an $11 million apartment in New York and $6.2 million residence for Robert Kaiwai, consul-general in Honolulu.
Labour MP Phil Goff, a former Foreign Affairs minister, said he had visited the residence in LA and believed it was suitable.
"It's hard to believe they want to spend a whole lot of money on residences when most of the residences I visited were perfectly acceptable. From slashing and burning staff numbers a few years ago they seem to now not have any constraint on purchase of property."
NZ First leader Winston Peters said he did not know enough about the property to comment, but did not think the spending in Honolulu was justified. He said it was important to have a base in LA, given its commercial importance.
The ministry's annual report indicates the purchase of the $11 million apartment in New York appears to have been a last-minute decision.
It is currently home to Gerard van Bohemen, New Zealand's permanent representative to the United Nations Security Council and is also used to host other diplomats for functions. The $11 million cost is expected to be offset by the sale of the old apartment on the Upper East Side, which is on the market for $6.7 million. The sale of the Paris chancery and residence for $35.5 million also resulted in a $3.5 million gain.
The ministry has budgeted to spend $51 million on buildings and land this financial year.
Mfat also paid a total of $37 million in rentals and leases last year, $6 million in maintenance, $2.7 million in rates, taxes and "communal charges" and $4.26 million in utilities.