Police paid $271,000 to informants in the 2006/07 financial year.
That was less than the previous year, 2005/06, when $298,000 was paid and much less than in 2002/03 when $421,605 was paid.
The figures were obtained by Radio New Zealand under the Official Information Act.
However, the police would not disclose many paid informants they used in the past five years, or how much an informant is paid for the information they supply.
They say disclosing this information may identify those who have received payments in the past, or compromise those who may be in a position to provide information in the future.