In this morning's Sunday Star-Times there's a report about the notorious "cougar" police recruiting ad (see Maia's post on 6 February). Headline: "Police 'cougar' ad gets the recruits". First sentence: "A sexist police recruitment advertisement which was quickly axed has been wildly successful - attracting record numbers of potential recruits." Notice the addition of the word "potential" - not quite the same thing as actual recruits.
Near the end of the report it turns out that this "success" claim is based on a briefing from police public affairs general manager Michael Player to Judith Collins.
There are no details about how many actual recruits, let alone suitable recruits, the police got as a result. Instead the claim seems to be based solely on the fact that in the week before the ad was dropped, the recruiting site received "the largest single number of weekly hits ever".
Nowhere does this news report explain that police were pushed into dropping the ad after a flood of public protests about it. Nor does it mention that the increase in hits was at least as likely to have come from people having a look to see what the protest was about as from a sudden surge in eager potential recruits.