More Australians are moving to New Zealand to live and work for the first time in almost a quarter of a century, according to the latest published data.

The latest New Zealand government figures show that last month it had a net inflow of 100 Australian migrants.

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For decades, New Zealanders traditionally flocked to Australia, which had a booming economy and offered higher wages. But in the last few years the New Zealand economy has grown while Australia has seen a slowing economy and higher unemployment.

‘New Zealand had a seasonally-adjusted net gain, more arrivals than departures, of 4,700 migrants in April 2015. Net migration has been fluctuating around this level for the past six months,’ said a spokesman for Statistics New Zealand.

‘From September 2012 to October 2014, net migration was positive and mostly increasing. This was mainly due to fewer New Zealand citizens leaving for Australia, and more non-New Zealand citizens arriving,’ he added.

It means that New Zealand had a net inflow of 100 migrants from Australia in April 2015, the first month New Zealand has had a net gain from Australia since 1991.

The data also shows that annual net gain of migrants was a record high 56,800 in the April 2015 year, well up from 34,400 in the April 2014 year, and 4,800 in the April 2013 year. Migrant arrivals were up 16% from the April 2014 year, while departures were down 11%.

The net loss of 1,900 people to Australia in the April 2015 year was the smallest since 1992, while the largest net gains of migrants in the April 2015 year were from India at 12,200, China at 7,800, the United Kingdom at 4,600 and the Philippines at 4,000. About three quarters of migrants from India, and half of migrants from China, arrived on student visas.

In total, New Zealand, with a population of around 4.5 million, recorded a net gain of 56,800 people between April 2014 and April 2015

It’s a big turnaround in the migrant relationship between New Zealand and Australia whose citizens have the right to live and work in each other’s countries. Two years ago, a net 34,000 New Zealanders moved to Australia. That fell to 11,000 last year and to 1,900 in the latest statistics.

Satish Ranchhod, a senior economist with Westpac Banking Corp New Zealand said it is expected that net immigration will remain strong over the coming year, approaching a net inflow of 60,000.

‘The weak Australian economy is keeping New Zealanders at home. At the same time, New Zealand’s strong economic outlook is continuing to draw in foreign workers in historically very large numbers,’ he explained.

The economic outlook for New Zealand is very positive. The government has just announced that unemployment is due to fall to 4.5%, and the country is expected to have a budget surplus in the next financial year.