New Zealand Government spent $8 million on influencers since 2012

The New Zealand Government has spent $8 million on influencer advertising since 2012.

Seventeen departments have used influencers over the last twelve years, although the bulk of the spending was from Tourism New Zealand.

One trip from Jurassic Park star Bryce Dallas Howard cost the taxpayer $1 million, although Tourism NZ says it was more than a free holiday for the actress.

Auckland University senior lecturer in Marketing Dr Mike Lee told Newshub it's not that different from normal advertising.

"Even with traditional advertising that Governments have been spending on forever, they're still using taxpayers' money to pay actors and actresses to make ads of any sort."

But people might be a bit taken aback because it doesn't feel as transparent as traditional advertising.

"I could see why people might be more uncomfortable because the link between the money and that person is more in your face, so you kind of imagine the taxpayer paying that person directly, which in not so many words that's what's happening."

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