By Wright Communications -
7 April 2017
The New Zealand Fire Service has burnt off all comers to be the country’s most reputable public sector agency for the second year in a row.
In results announced today, the Fire Service increased its lead
on the rest of the field in the Colmar Brunton Public Sector
Reputation Index 2017, the most robust research of its kind in New
The Index benchmarked 39 national public sector organisations
against the four pillars which contribute to reputation -
leadership and success, fairness, social responsibility, and trust.
Each entity's reputation was indexed against the others.
The Fire Service with a Rep Z score of 129 comfortably outranked
the rest of the field across all four pillars. The research was
completed prior to the February Canterbury fires.
Maritime New Zealand was a distant second on 111 with the
Department of Conservation (110), EECA (109) and the Civil Aviation
Authority (108) rounding out the top five. These are still
considered to be strong scores against an average of 100.
Colmar Brunton Group Account Director Edward Langley says
reputation is particularly important for the public sector because
government departments and agencies are ultimately answerable to
the citizens who fund them through taxation.
"A positive reputation maximises the opportunity to change
people's behaviour; for example to encourage us to install smoke
alarms, wear a life jacket for safe boating, protect our flora and
fauna and insulate our homes," Mr Langley says.
"The other side of the coin can be illustrated by the likes of
Brexit which occurred in part because EU policy makers were seen as
too removed from British citizens."
Mr Langley says when considered in conjunction with last year's
results the rankings consistently reflect that New Zealanders
respond more strongly to organisations that show they care.
He says reputation scores are strongly related to advocacy with
people twice as likely to speak highly of organisations with a
"The research also highlights that perceptions of public
services are influenced heavily not just by our own experiences or
what we hear, but by what the media reports. Negative media
coverage outweighs positive coverage for agencies with a weak
reputation. In contrast, media coverage is four times more
likely to be positive for agencies with a strong reputation."
In the 2017 Index, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and
Employment was one of the fastest risers compared to last year,
increasing its Rep Z score by six points to 103.
Other success stories included several organisations featuring
in the survey for the first time this year, with the New Zealand
Defence Force (107) and Sport and Recreation New Zealand (107)
entering the Index in the top 10.
However, Mr Langley says almost half of those with above average
Rep Z totals actually scored less than last year, with last year's
second most reputable agency, the New Zealand Customs Service,
dropping eight points to 107 and sixth place. The New Zealand
Police and The Treasury both dropped four points.
"Each of those agencies retains an above average or strong
reputation, which is very positive, but the movement in the Index
is a timely reminder that no public sector can afford to be
complacent about its reputation."
The Colmar Brunton Public Sector Reputation Index was launched
in 2016 in response to an increasing demand from public sector
agencies to understand how they are perceived in relation to
others. It is based on the global RepZ framework, developed by
Colmar Brunton's parent company, Kantar Millward Brown, and used in
The 2017 Index involved conducting 2,000 online interviews in
November and December 2016. The survey was a nationally
representative sample by age, gender, household size, income,
ethnicity and region.
Colmar Brunton Public Sector Reputation Index
The following public sector organsations have above average Rep
1 New Zealand
2 Maritime New
3 Department of
Efficiency and Conservation Authority
Aviation Authority of New Zealand
6 New Zealand
7 New Zealand
Statistics New Zealand
9 Reserve Bank
of New Zealand
10 Sport and
Recreation New Zealand
11 Commission for
12 Office of Film and
13 New Zealand Police
15 Ministry for the
16 Office of the
17 Department of
18 Ministry of
Business, Innovation and Employment
19 Serious Fraud
20 The Treasury
21 Ministry for
Culture and Heritage