A record number of tradespeople are now leaving New Zealand to take up higher paying jobs in Australia, according to new data.
The New Zealand Herald reports in the 12 months to June a record 53,763 people left New Zealand for Australia, with trade workers accounting for the majority of positions between the 20-29 age bracket.
Academics say the figures are indicative of a "trades drain" hitting NZ, and fear the rising exodus could hurt the country's economy.
Of the 53,763 people that left NZ over the last 12 months, professionals accounted for 11 per cent of the total, and technicians and trade workers accounted for nine per cent.
Between the 20-29 age bracket trades workers made up 14.4 per cent of the total.
One carpenter told The New Zealand Herald the higher standard of work and better pay were significant pull factors for NZ tradespeople moving to Australia.
Earlier this year over 3,000 NZ workers said they were willing to pay their way to and from Perth to work shifts in the mining industry.