Wholesale sales rose 0.7 percent in the September quarter, with only half of the six industries measured showing increases.
It follows the June quarter's 1.8 percent gain, to which all six industries contributed.
The largest gains were from motor vehicle and vehicle parts wholesaling, up 2 percent, and grocery, liquor and tobacco wholesaling, up 1.1 percent.
The declines were minor except for the other wholesaling category which fell 0.7 percent.
Bank of New Zealand economist Doug Steel said the figures were slightly weaker than expected.
"A touch on the softer side of expectations - but only a touch. We were thinking sales might lift around 1 percent."