18 May 2012

'Accidental embassy' may go on the block

10:47 pm on 18 May 2012

Government plans to save money on its foreign service are set to include a sell-down of stylish embassy properties in Paris.

In announcing the closure of the embassy in Stockholm, the Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said the shutdown would be accompanied by diplomats moving into less expensive accommodation elsewhere.

New Zealand's Paris embassy consists of two buildings in the 16th arrondissement.

French real estate websites suggest the buildings could be worth around $30 million.

The Paris embassy, sometimes called the "accidental embassy", was bought with money owed to New Zealand by France because this country supported French possessions in the Pacific during the WWII.