Construction activity has held up well in the first quarter of this year, surprising economists who predicted a drastic decline.
Statistics New Zealand says the volume of building work put in place fell 0.7% in the three months to March, continuing declines in 2008.
The drop is due to decreased activity in both residential and commercial building work.
ASB economist Jane Turner previously predicted construction activity would decline by 7%, and she is surprised by the lower figure.
On an annual basis, the value of building work fell by 11%, or $12 billion, in the March year compared with the previous year.