North Harbour's miserable Air New Zealand Cup campaign continued in New Plymouth on Friday night, with the Albany-based side slumping to their fifth loss in a row.
Taranaki won 17-13, but it was a controversial penalty which sealed the game.
Referee Garratt Williamson penalised Harbour's Malakai Ravulo for a high tackle which replays showed was a fair tackle.
The penalty gave Taranaki the lead 14-13.
Both sides scored one try.
Harbour are second to last in the competition.