The allowances doled out to former Prime Ministers are being defended by John Key.
A bill before parliament seeks to entrench the travel allowances.
It also takes away decision making on the perks from MPs, and hands it to the independent Remuneration Authority.
Mr Key says former leaders have an ongoing responsibility after they leave office being required to do things such as turn up for state dinners and the opening of parliament.
"I think we're just treating that office with a little bit of dignity to say that there's a few entitlements beyond their time as Prime Minister, given their enormous contribution they and their families make I don't think most New Zealanders would object to that."
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John Key |