The official cash rate is staying at 2.5 percent, with Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard citing a "fragile" global economy in retaining the status quo.
The kiwi rose as high as 81.94 US cents from 81.38 cents before the announcement, and recently traded at 81.66 cents.
Bollard said international financial markets were still threatening to push up local bank funding costs, and New Zealand’s economic recovery could be constrained by delays to the Christchurch rebuild.
“Given ongoing uncertainty around global conditions and the moderate pace of domestic demand, it remains prudent to keep the OCR on hold,” he said.
Analysts expect a rate hike late this year or in early 2013.