Northland beat Waikato 18-10 in the opening match of the new Air New Zealand Cup rugby competition in Whangarei on Thursday night.
Northland led 13-3 at half time.
All Black Sione Lauaki scored a late try for Waikato.
In Blenheim, Bay of Plenty beat Tasman by 8-7.
Both sides scored one try, with the Bay kicking the winning penalty late in the match.
Wellington host Hawkes Bay and Taranaki host North Harbour on Friday night.