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Tuning Into Waste: NZ Police's $320K Podcast Gamble Falls Flat

The Taxpayers' Union is questioning the rationale behind the New Zealand Police's extravagant expenditure of $320,000 on their 'Offbeat' podcast series. The series has garnered a mere 15,400 downloads since its launch, costing taxpayers approximately $21 per download.

Oliver Bryan, Investigations Coordinator at the Taxpayers' Union, said:

“The $320,000 would be far better spent on visiting high schools and encouraging students to join the police and answering student’s questions. Any kid dedicated enough to endure an episode of the podcast is one who is likely to join the police anyway.

"It's concerning to see that despite the podcast's availability on multiple platforms—Spotify, iHeart, and Apple—yet it still failed to attract a larger audience. What's even more egregious is that of the $320,000 total campaign cost, a staggering 57% was allocated to advertising, which still yielded poor results."

"While it may be too early to determine if the downloads will translate into recruitment, at only 15,000 downloads since its launch it seems unlikely that there will be a high enough conversion rate to justify this extravagant expenditure.

“Unless the Police can demonstrate a direct and meaningful impact of this podcast on recruitment, it's safe to say that this project is an egregious misuse of taxpayer money."

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