Corrections Minister Judith Collins says the rate of re-offending has fallen by 6.8% since 2011.
She says, however, that the number of people who re-offend has decreased by 25% since 2011.
"Unfortunately the re-offending rate is affected by a small group of individuals who are offending more often and more seriously," she says.
Ms Collins says the Department of Corrections aims to reduce re-offending by 25% by 2017.
She says a number of factors influence re-offending rates, including shifts in the demographics of New Zealand's offender population, changes in external drivers such as policing and sentencing trends, and changes to criminal justice legislation.
During 2015 there was a 20% increase in the number of offenders completing rehabilitation programmes.