Whanganui ratepayers spent $15,000 on reality TV show Dancing with the Stars to "amplify" the participation of a local contestant.

Whanganui District Council's economic development agency lists $15,000 for the show alongside money for a range of local events on its 2018/19 funding register.

This year's Dancing with the Stars on Three features Whanganui police officer and former All Black Glen Osborne.

When quizzed about the spend by Whanganui district councillor Rob Vinsen, Whanganui and Partners chief executive Mark Ward said the money was for "sponsorship of the programme".

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"[It's] sponsorship of the programme through the programme network. They go