Prime Minister John Key said at his post cabinet press conference today that the Government was still committed to closing the wage gap with Australia.

He defended Finance Minister Bill English's comments that having lower wages than Australia was an advantage.

Mr Key said Mr English was "just simply saying those lower wages at the moment present an opportunity to attract some investment in New Zealand".

Comparative lower wages was a reason why Canon had set up a call centre in Auckland, he said.

It was a "statement of fact that New Zealand ... is slightly cheaper in terms of its wage rates than Australia".

The long term goal was still to lift those wage rates, he said.