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Research looks at level of trust in judiciary and courts

26 May 2016

About one-third of respondents had a high level of trust in New Zealand's judges and courts, according to research by Victoria University's Institute for Governance and Policy Studies.

The research, published as Who do we Trust? was carried out by Colmar Brunton and consisted of online interviews between 26 February and 3 March 2016 of 1,000 New Zealanders aged 18 or over.

When asked how much trust they had in 14 designated groups "to do the right thing", medical practitioners and police emerged as the most trusted groups. They were followed by schools and colleges, judges/courts, and universities.

Of the respondents, 7% said they had complete trust in judges/courts, with 28% having lots of trust, 48% having some trust, 14% having little trust, and 3% of respondents had no trust at all.

Respondents were asked to what extent their levels of trust had changed in the last three years. The responses indicated that there had been a decline of 13% in the level of trust in judges/courts, with 6% trusting them a lot less, 21% trusting them less, 9% trusting them more, and 2% trusting them a lot more.

How much trust do you have in the following groups to do the right thing?

GroupComplete trustLots of trustSome trustLittle trustNo trust
Medical practitioners13%42%36%7%2%
Police12%41%34%9%4%
Schools and Colleges5%31%54%9%2%
Judges/Courts7%28%48%14%3%
Universities4%29%58%8%2%
Small businesses2%28%60%8%1%
Charities2%26%53%15%5%
Churches5%18%46%21%10%
Local government1%11%45%30%14%
Corporations/large businesses2%9%47%30%13%
Government Ministers1%8%37%32%21%
TV/Print Media1%7%46%33%13%
Members of Parliament1%7%38%36%19%
Bloggers/Online commentators1%4%35%40%20%


To what extent have your levels of trust changed in the last three years?

GroupTrust lot lessTrust little lessTrust little moreTrust lot moreNet improvement
Small businesses2%5%20%3%16%
Medical practitioners4%11%20%6%11%
Police5%13%21%6%9%
Universities2%9%12%3%4%
Schools and colleges2%12%13%3%2%
Charities6%18%9%2%-13%
Judges/Courts6%21%9%1%-16%
Churches10%17%6%4%-17%
Corporations/large businesses14%28%5%1%-37%
Local government15%30%7%0%-37%
TV/Print Media15%30%5%1%-40%
Bloggers/Online commentators20%28%5%0%-43%
Government Ministers24%31%5%1%-49%
Members of Parliament25%33%4%0%-54%

Last updated on the 26th May 2016