In October this year more people arrived from Australia than went there from New Zealand, and Prime Minister John Key says it's `a big milestone'.
Fewer New Zealanders are leaving for Australia and more Kiwis are returning home.
In October 17 more people arrived from Australia than went there from New Zealand, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key told reporters on Monday.
"It's the first month of positive migration from Australia since December 1993," he said, adding it was a "a big milestone".
Statistics that have just been released show New Zealand's annual net migration gain rising to a record for the third consecutive month, led by an increase in student arrivals from India and fewer Kiwis crossing the Tasman.
The country gained a net 47,684 migrants in the year ended October 31, according to Statistics New Zealand.
Annual arrivals rose 16 per cent from the previous year to a new high of 107,200, while departures fell 20 per cent to 59,500.
The annual net loss to Australia was 5300 people, the smallest loss in 20 years.
The Reserve Bank estimates strong migration will add 50,000 people to the labour force over the next two years.
Monday's figures show Indian arrivals jumped 64 per cent in the year to be the third largest source of migrants at 10,722 people arriving.
Australia was the biggest source of arrivals at 22,721 migrants in the year, although many are New Zealanders returning home, Statistics NZ said.
The United Kingdom was the second largest contributor, although arrivals fell 2.9 per cent from the previous year, with 13,709 arriving.