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Public sector's reputation in NZ reaches record high amid Covid-19 crisis, survey shows

The reputations of public sector agencies among Kiwis have reached record highs amid the Covid-19 pandemic, with Fire and Emergency taking out the top spot as being the most trusted, according to a new survey.

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Kiwis voted Fire and Emergency NZ as the most trustworthy for the fifth year running. Source: Breakfast

The Colmar Brunton annual Public Sector Reputation Index, released today, measures the reputation of 54 public sector agencies.

Edward Langley, Colmar Brunton research director, says the reputation of the public sector has been building gradually in recent years, but this trend has accelerated because of Covid-19.

“As we entered the crisis, New Zealanders were rating public agencies more highly than in recent years. This means they were more likely to be in listening-mode and prepared to place their trust in those leading our response. This no doubt supported New Zealand’s strategy to eliminate the virus.”

For the fifth year running, Fire and Emergency has taken out the top spot with Kiwis and is rated most highly overall, including across each of the four pillars that shape reputation – trust, social responsibility, leadership and fairness.

Rhys Jones, chief executive of the fire service, says they are grateful that their work is recognised by the public.

“Everyone at Fire and Emergency works hard to do the right thing and support our communities,” says Mr Jones.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic we have seen public sector agencies working together to support communities at an unprecedented time. It is extremely pleasing to see that the increased trust and confidence in the work we collectively do.”

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That’s according to the Latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll. Source: 1 NEWS

Other key players in the top 10 include the Defence Force and the Customs Service, which have taken second and third place respectively.

The research was conducted as the Covid crisis began to hit between 10 and 25 March 2020 and Mr Langley says the strong public sector reputation has supported the country's successful response to Covid.

A separate 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll released yesterday showed New Zealanders overwhelmingly believed the Government had responded appropriately to the coronavirus outbreak.

Those polled were asked, "Do you think the New Zealand Government has responded appropriately to the coronavirus outbreak?"

The results were 92 per cent voting yes, seven per cent voting no and two per cent saying they didn't know or weren't sure what coronavirus was.