Manufacturing activity has expanded for the 27th successive month.
The BNZ - Business New Zealand Performance of Manufacturing Index rose 2 points to 57.7 in December, compared with the previous month, led by new orders and production.
Employment contracted for the first time in 14 months.
A reading of above 50 points indicated expansion.
BNZ senior economist Doug Steel said house building and construction activity continued to underpin manufacturing.
"The domestic economy's in pretty good heart, demand seems to be reasonably strong.
"The export side of things (have) probably come off a little bit, in terms of slowing down, the question marks around world growth could be part of that, part of the currency effect perhaps.
"The overall sort of tone of this survey is pretty positive," he said.