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Building activity shows biggest quarterly gain in 10 years

The volume of building activity recorded its biggest gain in 10 years in the third quarter, led by construction work in Canterbury and the upper North Island.

Activity rose 9.6% in the third quarter and was valued at $2.9 billion in unadjusted terms, Statistics New Zealand says. Residential building work made up 56% of the total.

"While the earthquake rebuild in Canterbury contributed to this, residential building work in the upper North Island also experienced growth," industry and labour statistics manager Blair Cardno says.

For residential building activity, Canterbury and the upper North Island, dominated by Auckland, were the main drivers of a 7.1% gain, following a 7.5% rise in the second quarter.

The unadjusted value of residential building work jumped 20.1% from a year earlier to $1.6 billion in the latest quarter.

Non-residential building activity rose 12.4% in the third quarter, following a 4.5% dip three months earlier.

The value of non-residential work rose 11% from a year earlier to $1.3 billion.