NEW ZEALANDERS place more trust in their lawyers than Australians according to a new survey carried out by MSI Legal & Accounting.
New Zealanders ranked lawyers in fourth place on the most trusted professions list, while in Australia lawyers were well down the list only just squeezing into the top 20.
Respondents to the survey were asked to rank a range of 42 different people and organisations in the community according to trustworthiness, from politicians to ambulance drivers and baby sitters.
Australians ranked lawyers as less trustworthy than accountants, police, hairdressers and the Australian Taxation Office, but more trustworthy than banks, Telstra, journalists and Prime Minister John Howard.
In New Zealand, lawyers were ranked above vets, pharmacists, school teachers, charity organisations and dentists.
Not surprisingly, both countries placed doctors, ambulance drivers and nurses in their top five. At the other end of the scale respondents in both countries viewed car salesmen, real estate agents and telemarketers as the least trustworthy.
Priests performed quite badly, coming in at 19th in Australia and 15th in New Zealand.