Sir Edmund Hillary is the most trustworthy New Zealander, according to a poll of Kiwi attitudes.

But National leader Don Brash and broadcaster Paul Holmes are languishing among the least trusted.

The Readers Digest annual survey reveals the professions and brands New Zealanders are happy to rely on.

For the first time this year, the survey also features a "trust ranking" for 50 well-known New Zealanders.

Sports stars top the poll, taking eight out of the top 10 places. Sir Edmund is closely followed by Sarah Ulmer, while the Evers-Swindell sisters came in fourth. Colin Meads, Peter Snell, Hamish Carter and Irene van Dyk also rate highly.

Director Peter Jackson, currently inspiring King Kong mania, was third, but he was an exception, with most television and film personalities getting the thumbs down. Rachel Hunter was 45th, followed by Suzanne Paul, Russell Crowe and Paul Holmes.

Politicians, who have ranked bottom of the profession category every year, took the lowest two places in the individual category, with Dr Brash narrowly beating New Zealand First leader Winston Peters to the unenviable least-trusted award. Prime Minister Helen Clark fared slightly better, coming in 43rd.

And politicians were regarded as being members of the least-trustworthy profession, in the online survey of more than 500 people. Firefighters were the most trusted.