New Zealand shares rose, buoyed by exporters Scales Corp and Synlait Milk, while Mainfreight and Air New Zealand fell as investors weigh up possible policy changes from the new Government.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 58.99 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 8143.98. Within the index, 30 stocks rose, 14 fell and six were unchanged. Turnover was $144 million.

"On the day the volumes are quite light, but the tone's still positive," said Shane Solly, director, portfolio manager at Harbour Asset Management. "We've had a period where people have been absorbing policy change, and we have seen companies more exposed to the domestic economy underperform. That's people looking at what happens with a different type of growth and favouring those with more of an overseas earning base," Solly said.

"There's lots for investors to think about, the sun has come up and the market has come up with it. We're going to end up higher than we were at the start of the month by quite some way - 2.5 per cent, which is really a pretty solid performance in the scheme of things."


Scales Corp led the index, up 4.6 per cent to $3.88. Solly said overseas earners such as Scales, Synlait Milk and A2 Milk had bounced on continued currency weakness. Synlait rose 3.5 per cent to $8.24 and A2 gained 1.7 per cent to $8.75.

Tourism Holdings advanced 1.6 per cent to $5. Chinese investment manager Citic Capital, which oversees US$21 billion of assets, has boosted its stake in the motorhome operator to nearly 11 per cent having emerged as a substantial shareholder this month.

Mainfreight was the worst performer, dropping 1.3 per cent to $24.24. Air New Zealand fell 1 per cent to $3.35 and Sky Network Television dipped 0.8 per cent to $2.58.

Outside the benchmark index, NZ Oil & Gas gained 0.7 per cent to 71c. Shareholders had mixed views on the partial takeover offer by OG Ofer at the annual meeting in Wellington today. A substantial product holder notice from OG showed it held 19.5 per cent.