Tuesday, 26 June 2018 - 3:01pm

Social media passes a million

2 min read

News article photos (1 items)

social montage

The social media platforms that have made some of our people online stars around the world have chalked up their millionth follower.

Police’s social media platforms and pages - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn – reached the landmark this month.

“This demonstrates the amazing level of interest in what police do,” says Social Media Manager Simon Flanagan.

“It’s a great way for Police staff to let the community know what’s going on – and a great way for them to show their creativity”

Among Police’s social media global blockbusters are the Running Man Challenge and The World’s Most Entertaining Police Recruitment Video, which both attracted views and shares by the million and became talking points worldwide.

At other times our platforms have carried more sombre content, such as the photo of slain Wellington police dog Gazza draped in a Police flag which broke hearts around the world.

Facebook – with a national page, recruitment page and 12 district pages – remains the most popular platform with 900,000 followers, but Instagram (50,000) is growing fast, followed by Twitter (43,000), YouTube (5,900) and LinkedIn (8,400).

The national page has the most followers, while Canterbury has the most of the district pages (90,000) – helped by inventive and popular content such as its Game of Thrones-themed posts.

It’s not all police dogs and puppies (or dragons and direwolves, in the Canterbury case) – though they always do well.

Social media has proved effective for operational purposes, such as finding wanted and missing persons and providing prevention advice. Other uses include regular Q&A sessions on the recruitment Facebook page for would-be recruits.

“Police has a reputation as one of the best organisations in New Zealand for use of social media,” says Simon.

“We get asked pretty regularly to speak at events - and other government departments and business want to know about what we do.

“I’d like to acknowledge the great work that’s happening around the country – a huge part of this success is down to people inputting lots of good stuff in their districts.”

Simon says over the past 12 months more districts and areas have been asking about setting up new profiles.

“There’s always demand for us to go out and train people and set up district accounts. Some of our best content comes out of districts so it’s great that more staff across the country want to be involved with social media.”


  • The Running Man Challenge - 29 million people reached, 10 million views. Went viral and won the Supreme Social Media Award (national project using Tāmaki Makaurau staff)

  • The World’s Most Entertaining Police Recruitment Video – 14.8 million people reached, 6.2 million views before any paid advertising (national project)

  • Death of Gazza – just over 4 million people reached, our highest-reach post at that time (Wellington District)

  • Elevator cops – 6.4 million people reached, 2.1 million views. Went viral and the cops made a live appearance on 7 Days (national project using Tāmaki Makaurau staff)

  • Game of Thrones spoilers post – reached 315,000 people, had 4.7k likes and made it to most mainstream news media in NZ (Canterbury District page)