Steven Luatua stated the comparison between offers by New Zealand Rugby and Aviva Premiership side Bristol was "night and day", as he puts family ahead of his All Blacks ambitions.
The 25-year-old will join Bristol this summer from Auckland Blues on a two-year deal.
"The offer they [New Zealand Rugby] gave me in comparison to what I will get is night and day, and that was a big factor in me deciding to leave," Luatua told the New Zealand Herald.
"It's a good opportunity and a good fit. I think Bristol is a great city and I'm fortunate to have a head coach that I guess will understand me and my goals and aspirations over there.
"At the same time I can secure the future for my family. That's a big pull: to give back. My family don't expect much. They know I do what I do and that I give back when I can, but in this way I can actually make a difference."
Luatua has played 15 times for the All Blacks, most recently featuring in the back-row against Italy, where he scored a try in the 68-10 victory in November last year.
He worked with future Bristol head coach Pat Lam at Super Rugby side Blues. He is Bristol's second signing ahead of next season, following their capture of Alapati Leiua from Wasps.
Bristol are bottom of the Aviva Premiership, five points adrift of Worcester.
Luatua added: "One of my goals is to try to clock up 100 games for the Blues [currently 63], so somewhere along the line I'll look to head back. Whether or not they'll have me, that's a different story, so we'll see how that goes."