Police Minister Ginny Andersen takes dig at Australia over police recruitment campaign - but union not laughing

They couldn't take the Bledisloe Cup from us, but there's now something else Australia has its eyes on: our police officers. 

Queensland's Government has launched an ambitious recruitment drive - promising sunshine, chilly bins, and a payrise of tens of thousands of dollars to try to poach our police. 

Full-page adverts have popped up in a number of our papers promising warmer days and higher pay.

"The starting wage for a first-year constable is $98,000," said Queensland Police Acting Superintendant Renee Kurtz.

That's $23,000 more than here - and they'll get $20,000 to relocate too.

"We've had quite a lot of interest from New Zealand," said Kurtz.

Police Minister Ginny Andersen's not too worried.

"They might have more money, they might have more sunshine but they've also got more Australians," she told Newshub. 

But the union representing Kiwi cops isn't sharing her humour.

"She needs to be careful. When you're looking back in a few months' time and we've lost a several hundred officers, you won't be laughing," said Police Association president Chris Cahill. 

Cahill said Queensland's offer will be attractive to thousands of young officers, who'll earn more than just the base salary.

"The real kicker is when they start adding in paid overtime. We don't have paid overtime in New Zealand."

Andersen said: "We can always pay them more but right now we have no trouble in retaining our police officers. Our attrition rate is 4.4 percent which is pretty good."

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said he's not aware of any current trends, changes, or increases to staff moving to the Sunshine State, but adds he will continue to monitor it. 

Asked if he expected to see an exodus, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said: "I think we've got an attractive offer for NZ police... I'm sure police will always be asking for more."

So it's do nothing until there's an actual exodus to force the Government to act. 

Even National says you can't blame those who take up the offer.

"Front-line police officers are going to make the best decisions for them and their family and I completely totally support them on that," said police spokesperson Mark Mitchell. 

Andersen's message for Queensland: "New Zealand has one of the best police services in the world and that's why they want our cops. It doesn't mean they're going to get them."

The question is: how far will she go to keep them.