AM Exclusive: Almost 100 police officers looking to move to Australia as high pay, benefits entice Kiwi cops

Australia is looking like the place to be a police officer, with high pay and free housing luring dozens of officers across the ditch. 

AM can reveal 77 officers have applied to work for Queensland Police, while 19 have made it through to the advanced stages of application in the Northern Territory. 

Australian police are continuing to ramp up their active recruitment drive, with Northern Territory's head of recruitment on the ground in Aotearoa for expos and interviews.  

Northern Territory police acting Superintendent of recruitment and selection Serge Bouma told AM an expo at the weekend had about 35 people showing their interest in policing in the Northern Territory. 

Supt Bouma said of the 35, about 50 percent were experienced police officers and the other half were people keen to enter the police force.  

"We're getting quite a few applications, this week we've got a short interview programme, so we really only have two days. So we're doing 17 interviews over those two days, and out of those, eight of them are serving New Zealand police officers." 

The pitch Supt Bouma has for Kiwi officers is: "We offer free housing to our members, that's throughout their career. We rent the house and the person's able to use it and [do] not have to pay rent." 

He said if the officer wanted to buy a home, they offer a housing allowance of about $30,000 per year. 

"That's over the top of the salary and the benefits that we offer." 

But it won't be an easy job. Supt Bouma told AM the Northern Territory has a "very big issue" with family and domestic violence as well as youth crime. 

"I don't think we're unique in that, and no one's saying policing is an easy job - which is also why we compensate quite well." 

Supt Bouma told AM Australia is experiencing "higher than normal attrition" and New Zealand isn't the only jurisdiction that's being targeted in their recruitment drive.  

"We need to look at people who have some excellent experience from their own jurisdictions or their jurisdiction of origin that we can draw and leverage and use for our police force." 

Labour leader Chris Hipkins also joined AM on Tuesday and said Australians always try and poach Kiwi talent but "most New Zealanders stay here". 

When asked if he was worried if Aotearoa was becoming a training ground for Aussie police, Hipkins appeared not to be.  

"Police have had a 33 percent pay increase under our government, and I'm not saying it's enough, it's never going to be enough for me." 

Hipkins told AM Kiwi police are currently bargaining, with the offer being about $4000 over two installments. 

"I acknowledge that they're not accepting the offer that's on the table." 

Watch the full video above for more.