The big money on offer in the new Australian domestic netball league is a myth, according to Kiwi export Noeline Taurua.
Taurua, who has been appointed to the helm of one of the new start-up clubs - the Sunshine Coast Lightning - is in the thick of recruitment for the new competition, which gets under way in February.
The league will feature the five franchises that competed in the now-defunct ANZ Championship, along with three new teams, backed by privately owned NRL and AFL clubs.
With big-name franchises like the Melbourne Storm (NRL) and Collingwood and the GWS Giants from the AFL branching out into netball, it was widely reported that players across the Tasman were set to cash in.
But Taurua said players in the New Zealand league will be better off financially.
"There's a perception there is more money in Australia, but that is not the case," the former Magic coach said.
"They have a hard salary cap over there, whereas [in New Zealand] it is a soft cap and there is more scope to earn more money.
"There's only a certain pool of money to go around in Australia and the payments seem to be a lot more structured."
Despite the salary cap in Australia allowing little wriggle room, the new privately owned clubs appear to be hoovering up the bulk of the top international playing talent, decimating the likes of traditional heavyweights the NSW Swifts, Melbourne Vixens and Queensland Firebirds.
The Australian franchises are unable to officially sign any players until the collective players agreement has been endorsed by all parties, but it is understood most teams have reached verbal agreements with players.
Taurua's Lightning, who are backed by the Storm, are reported to have lured Australian shooters Caitlin Bassett and Steph Wood as well as English defender Geva Mentor to Queensland.
It appears Silver Ferns midcourter Laura Langman is also eyeing a move there.
Collingwood have snaffled several star Diamonds players, including Sharni Layton, Kim Ravaillion, Caitlin Thwaites and April Brandley. The new Sydney team, led by another former Magic coach in Julie Fitzgerald, are also expected to field a formidable line-up with several long-standing members of the Swifts heading to their crosstown rivals.
With the teams on an equal footing in terms of the salaries they are able to offer, Taurua said the players' decisions seem to be guided by which programme offered the most in terms of on-court opportunities, training facilities and development.
"The recruiting process [in Australia] is quite a different landscape and that has been quite an eye-opener for me," she said. "It is so competitive and everyone is wanting spots, so I've found players are a lot more forthright in approaching you and will send through video footage and will let you know what they can do and what they are looking for."
The collective players' agreement in Australia is expected to be signed off by the end of the week, triggering a flurry of big-name moves next week - six weeks after the contracting period was originally due to open.