Perry top-scored for Australia (42 from 48) after Australia started the match in trouble at 3/2, then progressing to 4/4 in the fourth over.
New Zealand’s Leigh Kasperek (3/13) again spun through the Australia top-order, continuing her rich vein of form in the recent T20 series between the two teams in New Zealand earlier this month.
Perry combined with Jess Jonassen (23 from 22) to lift Australia to 8/103 from their 20 overs. Beth Mooney (15 from 11 balls) also produced a cameo at the back end of the innings with some lower-order hitting.
In reply, New Zealand captain Suzie Bates (23) and Rachel Priest (34) started strongly in their team’s run chase to see the White Ferns home to a six-wicket victory with 22 balls to spare.
Perry remains upbeat despite the loss
The thinking behind Australia's batting order change
Trying to defend Australia's score of 103
Australia is looking for consistency in the top order
Australia travel to Delhi on Tuesday morning ahead of their remaining two pool matches against Sri Lanka and Ireland. The Southern Stars will play Sri Lanka first on Thursday in Delhi.