30 Jun 2009

Ministers told spouses have to pay for overseas trips

7:36 am on 30 June 2009

Government ministers have been told their spouses will have to pay for overseas trips.

Prime Minister John Key says he made it clear to his Ministers this year that he does not expect them to take their spouses on official trips overseas, unless they pay for the travel themselves.

In line with that, Mr Key says he paid for his wife Bronagh to accompany him on a visit to China.

He says he made the directive to ministers to keep travel costs down in tough economic times.

As a general rule, ministers travel with one ministerial adviser, which Mr Key says is modest compared with overseas delegations travelling to New Zealand.