The number of new dwelling consents approved by councils was roughly the same when compared to July last year, according to Statistics NZ.
Nationally 2,811 houses, flats, apartments and retirement village units were approved in July 2016, which was 0.5 percent down on July 2015.
However the overall trend is rising, with the total annual number of consents being approved up 13 percent at 29,084 - that's its highest level since mid-2004, and substantially higher than the low point in 2011.
The number of new dwellings approved in Auckland has actually dropped by 2.6 percent compared to July last year, which equals 29 less consents approved but yearly total is up.
Westpac Industry Economist David Norman says total residential consents for the year reached 9622.
"A lot more growth in consents will be needed to beging eating into the housing shortfall of 30,000 dwellings."
Wellington's trends appear to be increasing, driven by retirement village units.
Consents in Canterbury have dropped by 16 per cent since the peak in late 2014, but the number still remains at a historically high level.
The biggest increase in consents was in education.
Investments in schools, universities and hospitals helped lift the overall value of planned building work (excluding housing) by an extra $1 billion.
In the 12 months to July 2016, $6.3 billion of building work was approved, with education accounting for half the extra billion dollar increase.
Over the past year, some of the main sites for building consent issuance have been Christchurch Hospital, the University of Canterbury, the University of Otago, and Victoria University.
Other significant areas of activity include prisons and airports.