Canterbury and Counties started the weekend locked on ten points each but Canterbury were not able to add to their tally due to having the bye.
Auckland beat Bay of Plenty 28-19 on Saturday to move equal top before Counties claimed the lead despite losing to Wellington 38-36 at Westpac Stadium.
Wellington's victory creates a log-jam at the top of the ladder with Counties on 12 points and Auckland, Canterbury and Wellington all locked on 10 points.
In the Championship section Otago beat Northland 40-7 while Hawke's Bay beat North Harbour 39-10 to share the lead on 10 points.
Tasman got into the winners' circle with a 36-22 win over Taranaki.
North Harbour 10 (Olivia Ward-Duin try; Sophie Fisher con, pen) Hawke's Bay 39 (Moomooga Palu 2, Michaela Baker, Kathleen Brown, Chanel Huddleson, Tori Iosefo tries; Sylvia Brockman con, pen; Krysten Cottrell 2 con ). HT:
Taranaki 22 (Iritana Hohaia, Lavenia Nauga-Grey, Alesha Williams, Chelsea Fowler tries; Hohaia con) Tasman 36 (Steph Mitchell, Tamara Silcock, Rebecca Kersten 2, Wairakau Greig tries; Hayley Hutana 4 con, pen). HT: 0-26
Manawatu 12 (Carys Dallinger, Rangimarie Sturmey tries; Selica Winiata con) Waikato 15 (Lonita Ngalu-Lavemei, Donna Reynolds tries; Chelsea Alley con, dropped goal). HT: 5-12
Northland 7 (Savannah Bodman try; Kararaina Wira-Kohu con) Otago 40 (Julia Gorinski, Kilisitina Moata'ane, Amy du Plessis 2, Sheree Hume, Hannah Stolba tries; Hume 5 con). HT:
Bay of Plenty 19 (Kristy Yule, Nadia Flavell, Sapphire Tapsell tries; Tapsell 2 con) Auckland 28 (Isla Norman-Bell, Kiri Demant, Patricia Maliepo, Nataliah Moors tries; Maliepo 4 con). HT:
Wellington 38 (Ayesha Leti-Liga 3, Sinead Toala-Ryder, Alice Soper, Joanah Ngan-Woo tries; Amanda Rasch 4 con) Counties Manukau 36 (Emily Kitson, Lavinia. Tauhalaliku 2, Waikohika Flesher, Aotearoa Matau, Letitia Vaka tries; Hazel Tubic 3 con). HT: 19-17