Kim and Mona Dotcom have applied for $20,300 a month to pay their maids, cooks, nannies and butlers while they await the tycoon's extradition hearing.
Lawyers for the multimillionaires appeared at the High Court in Auckland today to vary the orders relating to how much of their seized funds they are allowed to access.
Kim Dotcom, the founder of file-sharing site Megaupload, was arrested in January in a dramatic police raid and had his bank accounts and assets seized.
He is awaiting a hearing on extradition to the United States which the court heard today was scheduled for March, but may be put off to July.
Dotcom has already been granted access to funds and other assets such as cars, in order to cover his huge legal fees in the copyright case brought against him by the US Government.
The Crown consented to release $20,000 per month for living costs and the Dotcoms then won access to a bank account with $300,000 in it from which they paid $40,000 per month to security and domestic staff in their massive Coatsville mansion.
That account has now run out and the Dotcoms are applying for more restrained funds to pay their staff.
Mona Dotcom's lawyer Aaron Lloyd said a new arrangement had been reached where security costs would now be deferred until after Dotcom was back making money.
He asked for an order providing $20,000 per month - all that was needed now that only domestic staff had to be paid - on top of the $20,000 in living costs.
Lloyd said the money was there to afford the order - there was an account with over $1 million and in the last 48 hours $363,000 had been realised from the sale of several luxury cars.
Counsel for the Commissioner of Police, Anne Toohey, said it was "not right" that the Dotcoms had received $540,000 to live on - $60,000 per month for the last nine months.
She said there had been no accounting of how the already-released monies had actually been spent and it was worrying that Dotcom had recently made announcements that he was setting up a new business and that he was going to buy the mansion.
Many of us face times in our lives when we have to cut our cloth to suit. It's something that we have faced more than once due to a variety of circumstances impacting on cashflow.
Most New Zealanders will regard living expenses of $60,000 per month as totally out of kilter to reality. Many New Zealand families could get by for a couple of years on $60,000; superannuitants for example.
So rather than bitch and moan about Dotcom's wealth and his flashy displays thereof , we've found a couple of practical and money-saving alternatives for him. Instead of nannies for his children, he could get an au-pair for just $180 per week. Sheesh; at that price, he could get two! He's certainly got plenty of space in his house to put them up!!
And maybe he could learn to cook. Right here in Wanganui, the local Community Education Service runs a programme called Blokes in Pinnies, and teaches everyday chaps to cook great food. That would cost Kim just $280 with tuition from top chef Joe Power of Essence Catering, although the thought of Kim Dotcom in a pinny is not something that perhaps we should pursue!
There are plenty of ways that Kim and Mona Dotcom could make economies in their home, and they are things that ordinary New Zealanders do every day. Feel free to suggest other tangible things that the Dotcoms could do to economise.
Lastly, it is pleasing to see that TV3 apart, the media's love affair with Dotcom is wearing off, and we are starting to see some more critical and objective reporting. It may not be John Key who, to quote Dotcom has no clothes. As horrible as the thought might be, the person without clothes may in fact be Kim Dotcom. After all, who else would have a personalised plate proclaiming him to be God?