Meet the Kiwi cop going from five to six figures in Australia as the exodus movement ramps up

Constable Dion Nelson-Screen worked on the frontline in Counties Manukau for five years, but like many Kiwi cops, he's been lured across the ditch.

"I think I could speak for most, the sunny weather and the incentives were driving factors," Const Nelson-Screen said.

It's 19C in winter and more money has been hard to turn down. And Queensland Police Force has been boasting about the attractive offer - $20,000 in relocation costs and a salary that's almost double what the New Zealand Police Force can offer.

"The salary increase was massive, especially taking in super. It's a large amount going from five figures to six figures - can't say no to that right," Const Nelson-Screen said.

A first-year constable in Australia earns NZ$140,000 compared to NZ$67,000 in New Zealand. Even after five years on the frontline a Kiwi officer's salary only rises to NZ$83,000.

Queensland's Acting Superintendent Renee Kurtz said they're "certainly, seeing a movement from New Zealand police that want to come join the police service and bring their experience and skills here to Queensland". 

"A lot of New Zealanders live here and have connections so why not," she added.

An 18-week bridging course is all it takes to transfer over. The graduation on Thursday was a telling sign of how successful their poaching has been.

"New Zealand police officers are one of our highest applicants. Those graduating today, half of them are from across the ditch," said Supt Kurtz.

It solves a problem for Australia but makes New Zealand's even worse.

There are more than 250 vacancies in the police force across the country - and in the space of one week, 20 officers resigned.