The Government has splashed out on 34 new top-of-the-line BMWs that sell for more than $200,000 each.
The Green Party has called the ordering of the cars a disgrace.
But the Internal Affairs Department says it has been three years since the Government bought its last fleet, which will be sold when the new cars start to arrive later this year.
The 730Ld BMWs are not yet available in New Zealand, but the 730d models in the current VIP fleet sell for $203,500.
The cars are for transporting ministers, their guests, the leader of the Opposition and occasionally judges.
A spokesman for Prime Minister John Key said this was the same process that had happened for years. "It is standard for a progressive upgrade of the VIP fleet to happen every three years or when the vehicle reaches 90,000 kilometres."
This is, in our humble opinion, incredibly bad judgment by whoever has authorised the deal. Sure, fleet cars should be replaced regularly, but during an election campaign when everyone else is being asked to tighten their belts? No!
Commercial considerations and contracts are doubtless at play here. But perception is everything in politics, and the perception this morning is that the National-led government is no different from its predecessor, with a do-as-we-say-not-as-we-do attitude, and we're not happy about that.
As they say in the soft drink advert - smarten up!