Canterbury has recorded the largest increase in consents for new homes of any region in May.
Statistics New Zealand's latest building consent figures show most areas have had a drop in new home consents.
The number of permits for new houses rose a seasonally adjusted 2.2% in May to 1044. Excluding volatile apartment figures, the number of seasonally adjusted consents rose 0.9% to 1017.
Some 251 new building consents were issued in Canterbury in May - 14 more than in May the previous year.
Sixty-eight consents were earthquake related, with all but five of those for relocatable units for displaced residents which are being built by the Department of Building and Housing.
Statistics New Zealand says those 68 consents make up more than three-quarters of all quake-related building approvals since September last year.
In contrast, the number of new homes given approval in the North Island fell by almost a quarter, with the biggest decreases in Auckland, Waikato and Taranaki.
Ten of the country's 16 regions recorded decreases in consents in May.