It took a Gayle Broughton extra-time try, but the Black Ferns Sevens will play for a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
With the scores level at 17-17 at fulltime, New Zealand's Stacey Fluhler leaped hight to pull in Tyla Nathan-Wong's kick-off and the Ferns attacked.
Showing patience that had avoided the Ferns throughout the titanic contest, New Zealand moved the ball from left to right looking to breach the staunch Fijian defensive wall.
Eventually, Broughton scooped up the ball from the back of the ruck, twisted ad turned in a tackle and dived over for the sudden-death winner.
New Zealand will play France in the final on Saturday night, after they topped Great Britian 26-19.
Earlier, it was a great start for the Ferns when Broughton scored the opening try early doors after a a Fijian attack broke down.
But the Pacific Islanders played with the type of flair and aggression that their male counterparts have made famous.
Vasiti Soliloviti busted through the middle to score from distance to give Fiji a 7-5 lead, before Ruby Tui appeared to give New Zealand a halftime lead, but she lost the ball forward over the tryline after a sensational tackle from Alowesi Nakoci.
Fiji extended their lead to seven with five minutes remaining after Solokoviti scored her second.
But the Ferns came storming back with Woodman scoring under the posts with two minutes on the clock, and New Zealand appeared to have wrapped up a spot in the final when Fluhler scored with 30 seconds to go.
But Nathan-Wong's restart went out on the full and from the resulting free-kick Fiji levelled the scores with a runaway try, but failed to convert sending the game to golden-point.