The Silver Ferns netballers held off a late Australian comeback to beat the Diamonds 54-52 in the opening Constellation Cup test in Melbourne.
The Ferns led by as much as six points midway through the final quarter before the Australians narrowed the gap with the introduction of shooter Caitlin Bassett.
Silver Ferns veteran shooter Irene van Dyk only missed one shot while her partner Maria Tutaia was named player of the match.
The regular Silver Ferns captain Casey Williams sat out the match with a knee niggle, and her stand-in Laura Langman says it was the usual physical battle with the Australians, particularly in the last quarter.
She says the Ferns stuck to their processes and things went their way.
New Zealand now have home court advantage for the remaining two Constellation Cup tests, in Auckland on Thursday and Christchurch next Sunday.