Building activity has risen strongly, with official figures showing the seasonally-adjusted value of building work put in place 17 percent higher in the three months to March than the previous period, led by Christchurch.
Excluding price changes, volumes rose by 16 percent.
The volume of residential building activity grew by its largest amount in 12 years, jumping by 15 percent, while non-residential construction rose by 17 percent.
Statistics New Zealand said activity was higher across the entire country, though the level of building activity was still about 6 percent below the peak reached in the middle of 2005.
Economists expect it will exceed that level due to the pick up in rebuilding work in Canterbury and housing construction rises in the rest of the country.