The Taxpayers’ Union can reveal that the New Zealand Transport Authority's 'Drive Social' campaign cost taxpayers $1,492,395 on advertising, $985,019 on communications and advertising consultancy fees and $301,872 in other related costs. This website alone cost $186,142.
The 'Drive Social' campaign was organised by NZTA to educate road-users that they “share the road with other drivers” and instructs them to “be considerate” (we're not making this up!).
We think that the funds for these sort of self-evident campaigns would be better spent on improving roads or preventing drink driving. The Taxpayers’ Union asked the NZTA to provide cost-benefit analysis of the campaign. Instead, it could only provide us the costs to the taxpayer and ‘media monitoring’ reports.
We can all support advertising efforts to reduce the road toll, but here is an agency spending nearly three million dollars to tell drivers that there are other drivers on the road. It’s bureaucrats spending our money to treat us like children.
Complete with a condescending tone and nursery rhyme-like music the ‘Drive Social’ website would insult the intelligence of most drivers. Judge for yourself at www.drivesocial.co.nz.
Here is an example of one of the campaign billboards:
Since July 2011, the Marlborough District Council has paid $410,550 for website design maintenance and development costs. In comparison Dunedin City Council spent only $35,520 over the same time period.
“The only council that spent more on web design than Marlborough was Auckland Council” says Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union.
“Even if we assume that half of Marlborough’s residents have actually visited the site, it would probably have been cheaper for the Council to pay for a taxi for them to visit the office. It is potentially a huge waste of ratepayer money.”
Wellington City, which redeveloped its award winning website earlier in the year spent almost one hundred thousand dollars less than Marlborough.
Spending on website design maintenance and development costs since July 2011.
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