The election campaign, royal tours, international leaders, Anzac commemorations and hosting sporting events such as the Cricket World Cup led to a $2 million blowout in the budgets for the Crown limo service and hosting VIPs.

Budget documents show the limo service used by ministers and other VIPs went $500,000 over its $7.5 million annual budget because of increased demand. The cost of hosting VIPs and ceremonial events went $1.5 million over the $4.4 million budget, costing a total of $5.9 million.

A spokesman for Internal Affairs said the increase for VIP Transport, which provides the BMW limos for ministers and VIPs, was partly due to the Cricket World Cup and expected costs for the U-20 Fifa World Cup, which starts tomorrow.

A spokesman said the extra sum in the events and hosting budget included $450,000 for Prince Harry's visit last month and about $1 million for events in the week of Anzac Day.


The previous year, the VIP budget had an extra $1.2 million added for the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George.

The costs included hosting international leaders who visited New Zealand around the G20 Summit in Australia last November. They included China's President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The election campaign is also likely to have contributed to the spike in the VIP Transport bill.

The Governor-General's annual international travel budget also got a $125,000 top-up, taking it to $432,000. However, a spokesman said the actual costs were expected to fall well short of that. Funding for the expenses of Sir Jerry Mateparae's domestic programme was also increased by $250,000, taking it up to almost $1.1 million.

Internal Affairs also got an extra $518,000 to pay for the inquiry into allegations former Justice Minister Judith Collins had undermined former SFO head Adam Feeley, an inquiry which found no evidence she had done so.

The second part of inquiries into the false scare over whey protein contamination added a further $524,000.