A woeful first quarter saw the Silver Ferns fall to a 53-50 defeat against Australia in their second Quad Series match in London on Sunday (NZ time).
After being outscored 14-6 in the opening quarter, the Ferns managed to close the gap to two goals in the final minutes, but they couldn't do enough to secure a remarkable come-from-behind win against the Diamonds.
The poor first quarter proved costly, as the Ferns went onto outscore their opponents 44-39 over the next three quarters at Copper Box Arena.
After losing to England 54-41 in Liverpool last Monday, New Zealand needed to a big win to keep their hopes alive of winning the competition, but any chances of that happening are now over.
Down by eight goals after the first quarter, coach Noeline Taurua made changes in the midcourt with Laura Langman - playing in her 150th test - shifting to centre, and Taurua bringing on Karin Burger on the wing in place of Sam Sinclair.
Australia extended their lead to 10 goals early in the second quarter, but New Zealand held strong to trail 27-19 at the halftime break.
Taurua's changes began to show their class as they won the third quarter 14-12 to only trail by six goals with one quarter remaining.
Maria Folau (30/37) scored the first two goals in the final period which spurred the Ferns to life as they eventually got within two goals, but a costly turnover ended any hopes of a comeback win as Australia claimed their 10th win in their last 11 match against New Zealand.
Despite the loss, Taurua admitted that she was pleased with how her players reacted to falling behind early.
"I'm proud in regards to our finish," Taurua told Newshub after the match.
"The second, third and fourth quarters was the best netball I've seen the Silver Ferns play since I've been here.
"We showed lots of fight, but there is still lots of work to do."
Australian wing defender Jamie-Lee Price (daughter of former Warriors captain Steve) was named player of the match.
The Ferns are back action on Monday against South Africa in their final Quad Series match.