A fired-up Silver Ferns exorcised a few demons with their 48-43 win over Australia in the netball quad series finale at Claudelands Arena in Hamilton tonight.
The Diamonds had humiliated New Zealand by 20 goals when the two teams last met in Sydney 11 days ago, and the Kiwis were out for revenge.
They got it, but had to work every step of the way, holding off a late Australian comeback in the closing minutes.
Australia still took out the overall quad series title, also contested by South Africa and England, with a vastly superior goal difference.
New Zealand's win was built on a much-improved midcourt effort, an impenetrable circle defence and an error rate which fell to levels which finally satisfied coach Waimarama Taumaunu.
"Our error rate finally came down to under 20 for the first time in the quad series," she said.
Australian coach Lisa Alexander was left disappointed with an effort which started so promisingly as the Diamonds edged out to a useful 13-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
"I think the hunger and intensity wasn't there quite as much, particularly in attack," she said.
"Instead of trying to find the right spaces, we just had to bring the pace to the game first and then work our way into it, then the spaces would open up."
Australia started the second quarter impressively, piling on three quickfire goals for a seven-goal lead early in the spell.
But the Silver Ferns stayed focused, roaring back into the match by outscoring Australia 8-1 in a five-minute spell to even the score then hold on for a 25-23 halftime lead and easing out in the third spell to lead 36-32 at the three-quarter mark.
Captain Natalie von Bertouch paid tribute to the work the New Zealanders had done since Sydney.
"I think they probably did their homework on us pretty well, and shut down the top of the circle," she said.
"But we needed to recognise that on court, start using the width and change up our style of game. It's probably being just that bit too slow to adjust to their change in style of defence."
NEW ZEALAND 48 (Irene van Dyk 28 Maria Tutaia 20) bt AUSTRALIA 43 (Catherine Cox 14 Caitlin Bassett 13 Susan Pratley 12 Erin Bell 4).