Pay packets in Wellington grew at a faster rate than in Auckland in 2012, according to data compiled by Seek New Zealand.
Wellington pay packets grew a significant $5,765 in 2012, increasing the average salary for the region by 7.6 per cent to $81,384, while a 3.9 per cent rise pushed the average annual salary in Auckland to $75,494.
The rise in Wellington comes even as the government moves to control spending, which puts pressure on government departments, many of which are based in Wellington.
The figures are based on job listings on seek.co.nz.
Seek New Zealand says the average New Zealand pay packet increased 5 per cent to $74,579 per annum in 2012.
"A 5 per cent increase, the equivalent of $3800 on the average annual salary, will make a significant difference for many New Zealand households, particularly in the face of rising living costs," Janet Faulding, Seek's general manager said.
"What's more, the average salary package in New Zealand has risen month-on-month for the past three months, signalling a steady increase in what we get paid," she said.
The region of Taranaki, where mining companies are busy, notched up a 26.3 per cent rise in salaries in 2012. Taranaki is now the region with the country's highest average annual salary of $93,317.
The West Coast region, where coal mines have closed, recorded a 17.3 per cent decline to an average salary of $79,375.
"A high concentration of roles in the mining, resources and energy sector are advertised in Taranaki, with the number of advertised jobs in this industry tripling over the course of the year.
"On the other hand, a steep decline in the number of jobs in mining, resources, and energy on the West Coast has driven the average pay packet for this region down significantly since January 2012," Ms Faulding said.