New Zealand's monthly inbound migration rose to a four-year high in June as more kiwis stayed at home amid the dwindling attraction of Australia's slowing economy.
Seasonally adjusted, there were 2300 more migrants arriving than leaving in June, up from 1740 a month earlier, and the most since May 2009, according to Statistics New Zealand.
Permanent long-term arrivals soared to a decade-high 8330, while departures were at a three-year low as fewer people quit New Zealand to seek a better life across the Tasman.
Acting Prime Minister Bill English said the latest figures reflected an improvement in a number of economic indicators in New Zealand.
"Although they do move around from month to month,'' he acknowledged.
In unadjusted terms, there was an inflow of 636 net migrants in June for an annual gain of 7907. The net loss to Australia was just 1718 compared to 3334 in June 2012.
The biggest net contributor to New Zealand migration was 430 from India, followed by 275 from China and 201 from the Philippines.
On an annual basis, there was a net gain of 6304 from the UK, 5224 from China and 5120 from India.
Today's figures showed a 1.5 fall in seasonally adjusted short-term arrivals to 226,290 in June from a month earlier. In unadjusted terms, short-term visitors climbed to 159,485 in June from 151,074 in the same month a year earlier, and were largely unchanged at 2.637 million on an annual basis.
- Additional reporting Kate Shuttleworth