St John, the organisation that operates 90 per cent of the country's ambulances and provides first aid training, is the most trusted brand in New Zealand.

The charitable organisation topped a survey of more than 530 adults by Reader's Digest magazine of trusted brands, ahead of Dettol disinfectant and Whittaker's chocolate.

St John chief executive Jaimes Wood said the award was a great honour for the entire paramedic organisation.

"We work hard every day to earn the trust of New Zealand and to be recognised in this way, it's fabulous. It's a great reward for the work people do every day."

The Order of St John, which has been operating in New Zealand for 125 years, has been working on boosting and refining its brand image over the past decade, Mr Wood said.

"Until 10 years ago, we wouldn't have had anything like a brand manual.

"We had an inconsistent approach to how we managed the brand on a national level."

After realising the weakness, a brand manual and a unified policy was developed for the whole organisation to follow.

"Now all of our people are constantly aware that they must never take community trust for granted.

"The message to our teams is: earn the trust every day."

Paramedics were voted the most trusted profession in this year's Reader's Digest poll.

Mr Wood said it was just as important to be seen as a trustworthy brand as it was to be seen as a trustworthy profession.

The annual survey looked at a wide range of brands and products, from breakfast foods to electronics and banking services.


1. St John Ambulance

2. Dettol disinfectants

3. Whittaker's chocolate

4. Wattie's foods

5. Tip Top icecream

- additional reporting NZPA