New Zealand’s Most Trusted in 2010 Revealed
...as Well as Those We’ve Lost Faith in
The Queen’s approval means a lot to Kiwis, say the results of the annual Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Survey; released
today in the July issue of Reader’s Digest New Zealand.
The sixth annual Reader’s Digest Trust Survey reveals the findings from an independent national poll that reveals the
people we believe in - and those we don’t. Three of the top ten most trusted people in New Zealand had knighthoods
bestowed upon them and one has had the country’s highest award for gallantry.
This year’s Top Twenty features a scattering of personalities across professions, from television presenters to creative
artists and sportspeople - in contrast to the 2009 list, which was dominated by athletes.
Still, sports stars feature heavily throughout the list. Journalist Sarah Lang says this is partly because New Zealand
is a nation that defines itself by its sports. “Sportspeople who have reached the top have all those qualities Kiwis
admire - grit, passion and sheer hard yakka.”
NEW ZEALAND’S MOST TRUSTED: Victoria Cross Recipient, Corporal Willie Apiata (1), Fair Go Presenter Kevin Milne (2), Former Olympian and Scientist Sir Peter Snell (3), Author Margaret Mahy (4), Former All
Black and Mental Illness Spokesperson John Kirwan (5), Former All Black Sir Colin Meads (6=), Film Director Sir Peter
Jackson (6=), Celebrity Chef and Author Alison Holst (8), Silver Fern Irene van Dyk (9), Olympic Shotputter Valerie Vili
AT THE TAIL OF THE FIELD: While the survey looks at the ‘most trusted’ ranking, those who failed to generate support also make for interesting
reading. At the tail of the list were several politicians - Winston Peters (80), Tariana Turia (81), John Banks (82),
Rodney Hide (83), Sir Roger Douglas (84) and Hone Harawira (85).
BIGGEST FALLS: Figures who didn’t fare as well in 2010 included Prime Minister John Key, down 17 places to 70, and former New Zealand
Rugby Union Chair Jock Hobbs, down 13 places to 63, possibly as a result of his involvement with Strategic Finance.
SPREAD THE WORD: Kiwis believe in TV current affairs show hosts more than in 2009, with both John Campbell (33) and Mark Sainsbury (34th
equal) upping their places on last year (40th and 44th respectively). TV3 news presenter Mike Mc Roberts scored highly
on debut; the new candidate for the list coming in at number 14.
ROYAL APPROVAL: As well as knighthoods featuring highly in the top half of the list (12 of the top 50), the Queen herself moved up one
spot (18=) and Prince William debuted highly at number 22. While not Kiwis themselves, they are still clearly trusted by
FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD: Foodies and celebrity chefs made a stronger impression on the 2010 list than in previous years, with Alison Holst (8),
Jo Seagar (27) and Peta Mathias (37) all in the top 40.
BUSINESS TIME: After a tough year in business and a string of company collapses, it not surprising that several people in business fell
down the list in 2010 – such as Sir Bob Jones, down 5 places to 71, and Graeme Hart, down 3 places to 68, but credit is
due to those who managed to move up, such as Sir Stephen Tindall, up 5 places to 28.
Fire-fighters were the most trusted group of professionals, while partners were recorded as the most trusted personal
relationship, followed by ‘mother’ and ‘closest friend’.
In the 2010 Trusted Brand survey, Wattie’s was voted New Zealand’s number one, knocking Cadbury from its perch as the
overall Most Trusted brand and winner of the food category for the past six years. Automobile giant Toyota was second
overall and won the automobile category, while Sony came in at third overall, taking out both the electronics categories
and the computer categories.
The specially commissioned 2010 Reader’s Digest Trust Survey was undertaken by independent research firm The Digital
Edge. A representative sample of 500 New Zealand adults ranked 85 well known people on a scale of one to ten. They were
also asked to rate professions and everyday relationships.
The July 2010 issue of New Zealand Reader’s Digest includes the full list of results, analysis from psychologist Dr Sara
Chatwin, social commentator Pinky Agnew and comment from some of the people of the list. Deborah Hill Cone discusses
some of our politicians’ images and dress sense.