Outside the strong meat and dairy sectors, manufacturing volumes fell 1.4 per cent in the September quarter.
Eight of 12 manufacturing industries suffered falls in the September quarter.
The worst hit was metal product manufacturing, down 6.9 per cent, a drop of $178 million. But chemical, polymer, and rubber product manufacturing was up 7.3 per cent.
Statistics New Zealand figures just out showed that strong gains in meat and dairy product manufacturing, up more than 9 per cent or $612 by value.
Overall, that boosted overall manufacturing values up 1.6 per cent or by $370 million.
When price changes are removed, the volume of manufacturing sales rose 2.6 per cent, also led by meat and dairy product manufacturing, up 13 per cent.
"The volume increase in meat and dairy manufacturing is reflected in the rise of export volumes for dairy and meat products, with increases of 32 per cent in dairy, and 15 per cent in meat," industry and labour statistics manager Blair Cardno said.
"Looking at the longer-term picture, the trend for manufacturing volumes has risen in the past year."
Without the meat and dairy industry contribution, the volume of manufacturing sales fell 1.4 per cent in the September quarter.
"Despite this, the trend for sales volume, excluding the meat and dairy industry, has remained relatively flat for the last three years," Cardno said.