New Zealand's economic performance is better than most other developed countries, the government says, as the latest statistics showed gross domestic product (GDP) grew 0.6 per cent in the three months to June 30.
Finance Minister Bill English says annual growth is running at 2.6 per cent - the highest rate since 2007, before the economic recession and the global financial crisis.
"We are making good progress and the outlook is for further moderate growth over the next three to four years," he said on Thursday.
Growth of 0.3 per cent had been expected in the second quarter, according to a Reuters survey.
The economy tracked as the central bank expected in the second quarter, with growth matching the estimate in last week's monetary policy statement.
The second quarter figures reflect a boom season for pasture growth that resulted in record production of milk, the basis of New Zealand's exports of dairy products.
Added to that, the reconstruction of earthquake-damaged Christchurch is starting to stoke building activity.
Agriculture was the largest contributor to economic growth in the latest quarter, rising 4.7 per cent and contributing to a 3.6 per cent gain in primary industries as a whole, which mainly reflected record milk production. Forestry and logging rose 5.5 per cent
Construction grew 3.3 per cent, the biggest quarterly gain since a 7.7 per cent jump in the June 2010 quarter, driven by heavy and civil engineering such as roads and bridges, which is at its highest level since the series began in June 1987.
Residential building activity grew 6.2 per cent, reflecting work under way in Christchurch.