Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says he's looking for cuts in the $2.8 million budgeted for consultants to complete his ministry's controversial restructuring.
In a select committee hearing at parliament on Thursday, Mr McCully said senior leadership appointments would be made in the next few weeks.
Once those were announced, he would discuss the level of spending on consultants with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFAT) chief executive John Allen.
Mr McCully fended off aggressive questioning from Labour's foreign affairs spokesman, Phil Goff, on why he was the only minister to stop the Treasury from posting cabinet papers relating to budget decisions on its website.
A mass publication of papers showing the decision-making and advice for every other department was posted to the Treasury website at the end of June. But Mr McCully said it was his practice only to release those papers on request.
"You were too lazy, Mr Goff, to ask for it," he said.
"Sometimes the New Zealand Treasury doesn't always make its decisions in the best interests of ministers."
Mr McCully professed no knowledge of Mr Goff's claim that around half the Official Information Act requests received by MFAT were not answered within the required statutory timeframe.
Mr Goff also pressed McCully on morale at MFAT, after 49 ambassadors and heads of foreign missions co-signed a letter earlier this year deeply critical of Mr Allen's restructuring programme.
Mr McCully said the change team at the ministry had developed the proposals, and he had wound some of them back once he became aware of them, and the furore they created.
Mr Allen told the select committee morale at MFAT was "ticking up" as new middle management and senior appointments were confirmed.