Air New Zealand has welcomed its top ranking in a survey just out today, paying tribute to staff who its boss says are the true heroes of the day.
Our national carrier has topped the latest list of our most loved corporates, beating Toyota and The Warehouse to head the latest NZ Corporate Reputation Index.
Christopher Luxon, Air NZ chief executive, was thrilled with the outcome.
"It's fantastic that our airline is held in such high regard by New Zealanders. This result is a reflection of the hard work of 11,000 Air New Zealanders who consistently deliver our products and our Kiwi service to more than 14 million people who fly around the world with us each year," a delighted Luxon said this morning.
The survey has been run for the past six years by consultancy AMR in conjunction with the Reputation Institute. Taken last month, the latest index shows Air New Zealand has reclaimed its top placing after falling to 2nd in 2015. It previously ranked third in 2013 and first in 2011 and 2012.
Simon Turner, The Warehouse chief executive, was also chuffed.
"I'm very pleased with today's news and would really like to thank all our team members for their hard work, improving our product ranges, enhancing our stores and loving our customers. As a leading kiwi company, we know we have more to do to make New Zealanders proud and you can expect us to deliver even more bargains and services from us in the next year," Turner said.
AMR said New Zealanders were particularly impressed with the national flagship carrier's cheaper flights, new planes, better financial results, positive service experiences and famous safety videos.
News wasn't so good for our biggest business, dairy giant Fonterra, which saw its spot on the index fall from 17 to 23rd. Consumers spoken to by AMR said ongoing issues with the farmgate milk prices were a key driver for this fall.
Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings said in a statement: "We are acutely aware of how tough it is on farm right now as a result of global market conditions, and the effect this has on our wider communities. Our focus continues to be supporting our farmers and returning as much cash as possible to them during this period."
Coming in 2nd in the 2016 rankings, Toyota placed first in 2013, second in 2014 and first in 2015, and only narrowly missed out on line honours this year.
Retail giant The Warehouse has fared well in this year's results, moving up one place to rank 3rd overall, driven, says AMR "by strong improvements in its products and services, workplace and the perception of being a responsibly run company."
Vodafone's reputation significantly improved in this year's rankings, moving from 20th last year to 9th overall in 2016.
It scored better on all key dimensions, in particular Products and Services, Innovation and Governance. AMR said its reputation took a hit between 2014 and 2015, "driven by a decline in perception among customers particularly in the area of customer service experience."
Russell Stanners, Vodafone New Zealand chief executive, welcomed the result.
"We are extremely pleased to see a marked increase in our ranking on the latest AMR reputation survey. Our move from 20th to 9th reflects our commitment to enhancing our customer experience on our fixed and mobile networks, and in any dealings customers have with our staff.
"We are working hard to deliver for our customers. Over the past year, we have invested significant resources in our customer care initiatives to reduce call wait times. We've employed 200 more customer support staff, and invested millions in services and technology to ensure customers have a great experience.
"Vodafone is very proud to see the commitment and dedication of all of our staff, and particularly the customer care teams, is having a positive impact on what our customers think of us," Stanners said.
Read the full report, including a break-down of where companies placed: