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NZ lawyers more trusted than Australian, survey finds

11 March 2019

New Zealand lawyers were trusted by 72% of respondents to a survey which asked who were the most trusted professions and institutions.

The survey, analysed in a report The future of trust, was carried out for Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ). There were 500 New Zealand respondents and 1,000 Australian.
The results showed that Australian lawyers were trusted by 61% of respondents. With a couple of exceptions (teachers and doctors), New Zealand respondents were more trusting of most of the professions and institutions included in the survey - particularly for the justice/court system, banks, major banks, government and even the news media.
Who do we trust? Survey results
Profession/InstitutionNZ %Australian % 
Doctors88%91%
Engineers84%83%
Police84%78%
Teachers81%84%
Accountants76%75%
Justice/Court system75%65%
Lawyers72%61%
Banks67%42%
Government52%38%
Major tech companies50%47%
Peer-to-peer platforms50%45%
Directors45%39%
The news media43%39%
Religious institutions37%40%
Political parties29%20%

Respondents were asked what single action would be most likely to decrease trust in a particular group. The report combines results for New Zealand and Australian respondents. For lawyers, 38% said "they behave unethically", followed by "they are dishonest" (30%) and "they do not protect the vulnerable" (7%).

Another question asked how much increased use of technology had impacted the level of trust in different lawyers. The combined result for lawyers found that 45% of respondents opted for "trust them the same", followed by 37% saying "trust them more", 10% saying "trust them less" and 8% selecting "tech use hasn't increased".

Last updated on the 16th September 2019