Taxpayers have forked out more than $260,000 to promote the police's new non-emergency phone number - including the creation of music cards featuring audio of the new number.
The 105 [ten five] number was launched on May 10 by Police Commissioner Mike Bush in an effort to relieve pressure on 111 emergency calls.
By last month more than 53,000 calls had been made to the non-emergency number for anything from a car parked over a driveway to shoplifting and lost property.
Marketing of the new number cost $262,943 according to details released to the Herald on Sunday under the Official Information Act.
The breakdown of costs includes:
• Magnets: $54,000
• Pins: $16,800
• Stickers: $10,065
• Music card: $43,400
• Pens: $22,050
• Flyers/posters/cards: $41,478
• Pencils/school collateral: $75,15
The common tag line on the marketing material was: "If it's happening now call 111. If it's already happened use 105."
Reminiscent of a musical birthday card, the blue and white music cards play a jingle upon opening, promoting the non-emergency number.
Sealed with a sticker of a record, the card - featuring illustrations of singing police officers along with a cheesy tune and rhyming song - is aimed at school children.
Whether the rap catches on is yet to be determined.
Police National Headquarters public affairs deputy chief executive Jane Archibald said the cost came out of the police's service delivery budget.
"The 105 non-emergency number has been developed to enable police to provide a better service to the New Zealand public by enabling them to get hold of us more easily," Archibald said.
"It is integral to modernising our service delivery and helping make New Zealand the safest country."
She said no promotional or advertising items created for the marketing campaign were unused.
At the time of the launch Bush acknowledged that historically, police had not been an easy organisation to get hold of quickly in a non-emergency situation.
He hoped 105 would "build trust and confidence" in the organisation, by giving New Zealanders a simple, new way to report situations that didn't require an urgent or immediate response.
Of the 53,000 calls made in the first two months, 14 per cent related to matters previously reported to police.
A further 21 per cent were from people seeking advice from police.