NEW YORK, June 26 (UPI) -- An upscale Manhattan apartment estimated to be worth $8 million has sparked debate over "wasteful spending" in New Zealand.
The three-bedroom, three-bathroom unit is the residence of New Zealand's ambassador to the U.N., Gerard van Bohemen, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
The location is ideal for the diplomat, who can take a simple stroll across the road to his office at the U.N. headquarters.
After a long day at work, he could enjoy a view of the East River from home, but the residential perks of the apartment at 50 U.N. Plaza did not sit comfortably with New Zealand politicians.
Radio New Zealand reported the dismay among leaders.
New Zealand Labour Party foreign affairs spokesman David Shearer said the building was home to Hollywood celebrities, and that Manhattan is too expensive.
"That's an awful lot of money when New Zealanders here can't get into the property market because [it] is out of control," he said.
An online listing of the apartment described it "large and impressive," and ready for "large scale" entertaining. The listing described the master bathroom as "white marble" with heated floors.
New Zealand's Green Party co-leader James Shaw said the apartment is wasteful spending.
"[The] Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade really needs to front with why they bought this particular apartment and the process that was behind choosing it," he said.
A former foreign minister defended the ambassador and said he is "simply doing his job."