More people are staying in New Zealand as the global downturn reduces their chances of finding work overseas.
Statistics New Zealand says net migration increased by 1700 in March, due to fewer people leaving home. It was the second consecutive monthly rise.
ASB economist Jane Turner says that partly offset a seasonally adjusted fall of 3.5% in tourist numbers.
The number of New Zealanders departing for overseas holidays dropped 6% in March, compared with the same month last year.