Official figures show annual wage increases running ahead of inflation for the first time in more than a year.
Statistics New Zealand says average wages and salaries rose 2% in the year to the end of December.
The increase outpaced a 1.8% increase in consumer prices in the year to the end of December.
Statistics New Zealand figures show the last time annual wage growth exceeded inflation was the third quarter of 2010.
But it was moderating prices rather than a surge in wages that meant wage earners are finally getting to see an increase in real wages.
Annual wage growth actually was unchanged during the December quarter
Wage growth in the private sector exceeded that of the public sector, but only just.
Private sector wages rose 2% during the year, compared to an average increase of 1.8% in the public sector.
Private sector wage growth has now bettered public sector wage increases for the past 18 months.