The Bay of Plenty ranks in the top three of the most popular places to work for Kiwis willing to shift to get a better job.

Australia topped the poll as the most popular destination in the independent research commissioned by Trade Me, followed by Wellington and the Bay of Plenty.

The nationwide survey of 1244 people also showed 70 per cent of Bay workers were happy in their jobs - above Auckland and Wellington, the same as Canterbury but below Waikato's 82 per cent satisfaction.

Women were more contented in their jobs than men, with 67 per cent indicating they were happy compared with only 56 per cent of men. Nearly a third of men described their jobs as "mostly OK".


The 18-to-24 age group was the most unsettled. They were split between being happy (44 per cent) and mostly OK or not liking their jobs (44 per cent). Twelve per cent of those surveyed in this age group were unemployed.

The news did not surprise John O'Donnell of LJ Hooker, whose son has returned home after nine years as a lawyer in London: "He gave up a good job in London to come back for the quality of life and education for his children. And because he was used to London's underground, he is catching the bus to work."

Mr O'Donnell was also witnessing a trend of 30 to 40-year-old Kiwis returning from Australia to settle in Tauranga, along with the ongoing influx of Aucklanders.

He said Tauranga had the best climate, a rapidly growing population, good access to Auckland and did not have the "crappy" weather of Hamilton and colder climates of Rotorua and Taupo.

"I totally understand why so many people are picking the Bay of Plenty."

Peter Cooney, of Classic Builders, said the beach lifestyle was always attractive to people, even if others were drawn to the higher pay of Wellington. "You get more of a relaxed lifestyle and the kids like it because of the options they have - the beach, surfing and boating. The ocean is their back door."

Mr Cooney said Mount Maunganui and the beaches were the city's playground, with a bit of wilderness in the Kaimais and the Redwoods on the city's doorstep in Rotorua for mountain bikers.