The cost of one of New Zealand First's coalition bottom lines – scrapping plans for new parliamentary buildings – has been revealed to be up to $3 million.

National say this shows the Government put politics before prudent use of taxpayers' money.

As part of the Labour/NZ First coalition agreement, it was agreed there would be "no new parliamentary building to proceed this term".

NZ First had rallied against any new panned buildings before the election.


In November 2016, the then government signed off plans to build a new office block to house MPs and staff. They would move out of Bowen House – the building many staff and MPs currently work in.

Then-Speaker David Carter said the cost of the Bowen House lease was $6 million a year.

But plans for the new building were scrapped after the 2017 election.

This morning, at the governance and administration select committee, Parliamentary Service General Manager David Stevenson outlined how much the decision to scrap the plans cost.

Officials had been allocated $9.9 million to take the project through to the final design, he said.

"When the decision of the coalition Government to halt that [project] took place, we had spent roughly $2-3m," Stevenson said.

National Small Business spokeswoman Jacqui Dean said this shows the Coalition Government was putting politics ahead of prudent spending of taxpayers' money.

"There was absolutely nothing wrong with the buildings per se. And in fact it was acknowledged that at some time in the future, that Parliamentary Services might want to pick up those plans and carry on with the project."

Stevenson told the select committee that the rest of the money which was allocated for the design of the buildings was reallocated in Budget 2017, to ensure Parliamentary Service could make changes to Bowen House and its facilities.

He said if a future Government decided to resurrect the project, the already started plans could be used again as "we're already quite a long way down the track."

Peters said today that the collation agreement showed that Labour agreed with NZ First position now and it had "seen the common sense that we have articulated on the issue, without being arrogant."