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The winners and losers

23 June 2008

The winners and losers

Our Most Trusted Person for 2008 is ….

Humble, courageous and self-effacing may sound like a description of the late Sir Edmund Hillary, our most trusted person for three consecutive years. But they are words used by respondents to describe the person they rated New Zealand’s Most Trusted Person in 2008, Willie Apiata.

A newcomer to the poll, Corporal Bill Apiata VC, heads a list of well known New Zealanders: Peter Snell, second; Colin Meads, third; Margaret Mahy, fourth; Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell fifth; Irene Van Dyk and John Kirwin, sixth equal; followed by Barbara Kendall, Sir Richard Hadlee and Alison Holst at eight, nine, and ten.

Veteran rugby players outranked current players this year. John Kirwin debuted onto the list at sixth equal with many respondents citing his open and honest approach about his mental health. Colin Meads, said to be a hard worker who does things for others in a quiet positive way, moved up 12 places to third.

And, shock horror, we trust the new Wallabies coach, Robbie Deans -11 places higher this year at 35 - more than we trust All Blacks coach, Graham Henry at 46, down 14 places from last year. It seems that broken trust is hard to regain.

Politicians fare no better in this an election year. We ranked them lower than in any other year with Helen Clark, Pita Sharples, Michael Cullen and Trevor Mallard all tumbling eight places, Winston Peters down seven places, Rodney Hide down four and John Key down two. But local body politician, Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt, leapt 11 places, moving up to 41.

Of the 85 names in the poll, politicians ranked between 66 and 82. The final three places claimed by Maori activist, Tame Iti; convicted murderer, Scott Watson; and former Assistant Police Commissioner, Clint Rickards.

Newcomers to the list, the Jones boys - Lloyd the author comes in at 52 with businessman brother Bob at 56. High-profile lawyer Mai Chen ranks at 57 followed by Phoenix Soccer Club owner, Terry Serepisos at 58, and Police Commissioner, Howard Broad at 59.

The top four professions for 2006 and 2007 also hold the title for 2008. Firefighters are the most trusted, followed by ambulance officers, pilots and nurses. The bottom four professions for 2008 are sex workers, car salesmen, politicians and telemarketers, who also bottomed out in 2007.

Obesity may be the word on everyone’s lips, but so too is chocolate and ice-cream. Cadbury is our most trusted brand for the fifth consecutive year, followed by Tip Top for the third consecutive year.

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