25 Jun 2015

NZ's new $11m apartment in New York

6:39 pm on 25 June 2015

The New Zealand Government has spent nearly $11 million on a new lavish apartment in New York City.

A screenshot of the listing for the apartment, described as "suitable for entertaining on a large scale".

A screenshot of the listing for the apartment, described as "suitable for entertaining on a large scale". Photo: blocksy.com

The flat is set to be the new home of New Zealand's representative to the UN, Gerard van Bohemen.

It is located on 50 United Nations Plaza in the Turtle Bay neighbourhood, just across the street from the UN.

The apartment is 278 square metres, and has three bedrooms and three bathrooms, overlooking the East River.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) said it cost $10,975,228, and will be a working space as well as a residence.

He said it was decided to sell the old property in the city, because of high ongoing maintenance costs and the distance from the UN building.

"New York property costs are high and growing, and it was determined that the purchase of a new property represented better long-term value to the taxpayer than leasing a property," he said.

"The ministry's independent external advisors - the Overseas Property Advisory Panel -endorsed purchase as the preferred option. The cost of the new property will be offset by the sale of the old residence."

The spokesperson would not say how much the old property was selling for.

Labour's spokesperson for foreign affairs, David Shearer, said the purchase confirmed a culture of extravagance.

"Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully is completely out of touch with the lives of real people," he said.

"It comes two years after Mr McCully gutted the Ministry to 'save money'. He is now splashing those savings on a flash pad for our man in New York."

MFAT owns 92 offshore properties and leases 217.