A record 70,000 more migrants arrived than departed in the September 2016 year, Statistics New Zealand said on Friday morning.
It surpasses the previous annual record net gain of 69,100 migrants, set in the year to August 2016.
"The annual net gain reflects record high migrant arrivals and fewer migrant departures," population statistics manager Jo-Anne Skinner said.
"Most of the arrivals are people coming in with work visas, which also includes working holidaymakers."
In the 12 months to September 2016, 125,600 migrants arrived - a new annual record.
The biggest changes in migrant arrivals were:
Most people arriving on student visas came from India, though the total dropped 30 percent (down 3,200).
People arriving on residence visas mostly came from China, the United Kingdom, and Samoa.
Departures numbered 55,700, 60 percent of them New Zealand citizens. That's down 2000 (3 percent) on the previous 12 months, with fewer Kiwis moving to Australia and the UK.
There was a net gain of 2000 migrants from Australia, the 12th month in a row more people have moved from there to here, than the other way around.