The Silver Ferns delivered their best performance of the Constellation Cup netball series, but were unable to snap their losing streak against Australia, fading late to lose 51-47 in Auckland.
New Zealand led for much of the match but eventually came unstuck, suffering their ninth straight loss to the Diamonds, who completed a clean sweep of the series, for the first time since the Cup was introduced in 2010.
It was always likely to be tough for the Ferns, missing their injured skipper, Casey Kopua, and they continued to rotate their shooting combination, starting the new pairing of Bailey Mes and Jodi Brown.
Despite Mes' first half struggles, shooting just 50 percent, New Zealand led by one at the break, prompting the Australian coach, Lisa Alexander, to bring her big name players off the bench.
The Ferns continued to pick up momentum, as the attack flowed well and the goal-keep, Temalisi Fakahokotau, displaying her intercepting ability on debut, to take a 38-34 lead heading down the home straight.
The Diamonds, however, proved they were far from done, finishing with a strong burst as they drew level then forged a two-goal lead with two minutes to play, through the composed play of Medhurst and the defensive exploits of Julie Corletto and Layton.
The Silver Ferns next assignment is two tests against England at the end of the month.