If you were looking forward to catching Ben Harper during his New Zealand jaunt later this month, you're out of luck.

Harper and his group the Innocent Criminals have postponed three New Zealand shows planned for later this month, saying they need more time to record their new album.

The shows in Auckland, Wellington and Napier have been rescheduled for December. The Christchurch leg has been axed.

In a statement, Harper wrote: "Unfortunately we need to postpone our upcoming tour so that we can put the finishing touches on our new album. We can't wait to see you in November/December."

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The American blues-folk star is a Kiwi favourite, with his many previous tours selling out large venues.

He was due to play Wellington's TSB Arena on February 24, Auckland's Vector Arena on February 26, Napier's Mission Estate Winery on February 27 and Christchurch's Horncastle Arena on February 29.

The new shows will be held at Auckland's Vector Arena on December 2, Napier's Mission Estate Winery on December 3, and Wellington's Michael Fowler Centre on December 4.

Auckland and Napier tickets remain valid for the new shows. Wellington tickets will need to be exchanged. Christchurch ticketholders can claim refunds.

Harper's new album, Call It What It Is, is his first in eight years. It's due for release in April.

He was last here in 2012 for a solo acoustic tour that stretched to three-and-a-half hours.

- nzherald.co.nz