Flexible lifestyle leave, career breaks, overseas travel, cheaper food, mortgages and petrol - plus higher wages.
Welcome to Australia and some of the enticing incentives luring Kiwis across the ditch as the transtasman tussle for talent heats up.
Recruitment agencies say the list of incentives companies are offering both at home and abroad is growing in a "once-in-a-career market" for employees.
Competing Kiwi employers are also offering a range of perks including lunches, four-day weeks, working-from-home arrangements, PPE gear and tool allowances.
Some experts warn the grass is not always greener abroad, but former Bay residents who have made the move told NZME they had no regrets.
Maria Marshall left the Bay of Plenty in 2019 to escape poverty.
The former postie, who has a degree in fine arts and lives in Perth, said, ''I don't miss the utter despair of Rotorua."
She works at Kwinana Nickel Refinery doing a process-tech trainee programme for a year with BHP following fly-in and fly-out stints in the mines.
The 57-year-old said she barely scraped by in New Zealand, earning $35,000 a year. She now earned more than $50,000 more and could potentially climb to $90,000.
She ran an arts business in Rotorua, but there wasn't enough work. She had a beat-up car, and "power bills killed me"'.
'"I paid low rent because I lived in a rundown flat, but I had to ask them not to upgrade it as the rent would go up."
It was cheaper to live in Australia and there was more work, she said.
"Plus the mining industry is ripe for the picking if you are willing to roll your sleeves up."
Latest figures from Stats NZ show 13,500 Kiwis made the move to the "lucky country" in the first nine months of last year, with new data expected to be released this week.
Cameron Hooper, owner of Storage Works in Oropi, said about five of his storage units were now filled with furniture belonging to people who were planning to make the move across the ditch in search of higher-paying jobs.
"A lot of them say they are about to head off to Aussie," he said.
Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the average median wage in Australia was $90,916 a year, compared with $75,254 in New Zealand .
The Annual Consumer Price Index inflation sits at 5.1 per cent in Australia compared with 6.9 per cent here, while a one-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.75 per cent with ANZ in Australia and 4.85 per cent with ANZ in New Zealand.
Recruitment agency Drake International Australia chief executive Christopher Ouizeman said selling points Australian clients were offering prospective employees included paid breakfast/lunches, travel cards for public transport, staff care packs, personal development and annual or biannual salary reviews.
Training, bonus structures, interstate and overseas travel, birthday/anniversary/gifts and time off, extra leave and wellness initiatives were also in the mix.
Ouizeman said the biggest perk was flexible work – choosing your working hours, where you work, and compressed hours like turning five standard days into three long days.
Seek Australia managing director Kendra Banks said it continued to see record numbers of job ads.
In May, job ads rose 2.1 per cent with applications falling 2.3 per cent from the month prior.
"Western Australia has recorded the longest stretch of continued job ad growth. This appears to be due to the bounce-back of hospitality, tourism and retail after borders reopened in March."
Rachel Smith left Athenree in the Western Bay of Plenty last year and said her pay packet had gone from $44,000 to $80,000.
In New Zealand, she worked two jobs — one as a nanny — but was now a senior residential youth worker at Mermaid Waters on the Gold Coast.
"What I love about Oz is people are less staunch, less financially stressed and not so aggressive, and we don't have harsh winters in the Gold Coast."
Smith said petrol was about $2 a litre and she didn't have to pay tax on about $16,000 of her wages.
In her view, "life is hard in New Zealand — poor-quality houses and pathetic wages".
Australia has also been kind to Tina Dawson. She left Kawerau in 1989 straight from school and became a teacher. She was paid to get university qualifications, paid to study in Japan and to take students there, and she spent several years in the country as part of her job.
Dawson, who is set to farewell teaching after 25 years and lives in Albany in Western Australia, estimates she earned $25,000 a year more than her Kiwi colleagues. That could potentially increase by another $45,000 when she switches careers to drive trucks in the mines.
"Within three years, my mining wage will be another $A45,000 ($49,950) on top of what I'm earning now. My roster will be seven days on, and seven days off. I'm looking forward to working hard but playing harder.
"I can afford to travel internationally regularly, hike, sail, go camping and take road trips while maintaining a mortgage and car payments on a single income."
Richard Kennedy, a director for recruitment company Randstad, moved in the opposite direction from Australia to New Zealand.
There were fabulous personal and professional lifestyle benefits in New Zealand, he said.
Workers were seeking environments that offered certainty, flexibility and genuine care for the wellbeing of people and the planet.
Australia's job market had substantial growth but salary budgets were projected to increase by only 3 per cent this year.
However, some sectors, such as construction and information communication technology (ICT), were experiencing significant shortages and offering competitive salaries and benefits.
Kennedy said Westpac Australia was offering up to 12 weeks of flexible lifestyle leave and unpaid career breaks for up to 12 weeks.
There had been a significant power shift toward workers.
"In the current market, a competitive salary only gets you a seat at the table.
"Companies need to get creative and think about what they should be doing differently to retain and attract employees."
Drake New Zealand marketing manager Alexandra Tidy said there was growth across the board and high demand in many Kiwi industries, such as manufacturing and warehousing, that needed to move products.
Benefits being offered included above-market pay rates, security, flexibility, a four-day work week, working from home, upskilling, training and development, job location, PPE gear, tool allowance and lunches.
Personnel Resources / Temp Resources Rotorua manager Angelique Scott said there was always a risk in moving overseas for a job but it could look great on your CV.
Researching job opportunities and pay rates was key.
Other variables to consider were student loans, relocation costs, healthcare, superannuation schemes, accommodation and support systems.
Scott said the Bay of Plenty was an attractive place to live and a lot of people were looking to relocate to the region, especially from Auckland.
Hays New Zealand managing director Adam Shapley predicted intense competition for skilled professionals would translate into gradual salary increases this coming financial year.
Already 91 per cent of companies were experiencing a skills shortage; 83 per cent said it would impact the effective operation or growth plans of their organisation, up from 64 per cent last year.'
"This is fuelling a once-in-a-career market."
Movements to and from Australia
• In the first 9 months of 2021 there were 18,300 migrant departures to Australia 13,500 were NZ citizens.
• Over the same timeframes there were 12,700 migrant arrivals from Australia to New Zealand and of those, 9600 were NZ citizens.