Wellington - Auckland came from behind to snap Canterbury's domination of provincial rugby in New Zealand with a 40-33 victory in a gripping 100-minute final in Auckland on Saturday.
The score was tied at 26-26 at the end of regulation time and with 20 minutes added to break the deadlock Auckland hit the front for the first time with the match-winning try by Leon Fukofuka just before full-time.
It was only the second time in 11 years that Canterbury, the base province for the Super Rugby champions Crusaders, have not been crowned the New Zealand champions.
Against Auckland, they controlled the match for the first 60 minutes, leading 20-7 at half-time and 26-12 at the three quarter stage.
After tries by Jordan Trainor and Caleb Clarke saw Auckland draw level, Canterbury hit the front again five minutes into extra time with a try to Tom Sanders.
But Auckland, who had struggled since last winning the championship in 2007, eventually took control in the second period of extra time when Mike Sosene-Feagai and Fukofuka touched down.
For Auckland, Tumua Manu, Akira Ioane, Jordan Trainor, Clarke, Sosene-Feagai and Fukofuka scored tries with Harry Plummer landing five conversions.
Canterbury's points came from tries to George Bridge and Tom Sanders as well as a penalty with Brett Cameron kicking four penalties and two conversions.