Auckland was pushed hard after getting out to a 12-0 lead in the first half before Bay of Plenty came back in the second half, scoring 19 points to Auckland's 10.
Waikato were similarly stretched by Counties Manukau before claiming a 34-28 win, a result that leaves the Pukekohe side on 12 points and in third place.
Canterbury got a drop on the rest of the South pool when beating its closest rival Wellington 54-12 in Christchurch.
Manawatu moved into second place on 14 points after their 28-14 win over Otago. The home side kept Manawatu to 0-7 in the first half, and it remained within the seven-point almost to the end of the game, Manawatu scoring in injury time to deny Otago a bonus point.
Farah Palmer Cup Week 5
Northland 65 (Tyler Nankivell, Portia Woodman 2, Leilani Erwin 2, Tyla Nathan-Wong 2, Stacey Tupe 2, Krystal Murray 2 tries; Nankivell 5 con) North Harbour 5 (JayJay Taylor try). HT: 43-0
Auckland 22 (Princess Elliott, Patricia Maliepo, Natahlia Moors, Eloise Blackwell tries; Maliepo con) Bay of Plenty 19 (Kelsie Wills, Risaleaana Pouri-Lane, Kiani Tahere tries; Hope Parata-Kingi 2 con). HT: 12-0
Waikato 34 (Stacey Fluhler, Kennedy Simon, Renee Holmes, Cheyelle Robins-Reti, Carla Hohepa tries: Chelsea Alley 3 con, pen) Counties Manukau 28 (Glory Aiono, Ruby Tui, Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu tries; Hazel Tubic 4 con). HT:15-14
Canterbury 54 (Liv McGoverne, Pip Love, Grace Brooker 3, Kendra Cocksedge 2, Cindy Nelles tries; Cocksedge 6 con; McGoverne con) Wellington 12 (Georgia Daals, Angelica Uila tries; Thamsyn Newton con). HT: 42-12
Tasman 5 (Pallas Andrews try) Hawke's Bay 62 (Jaimee Robin, Whitley Mareikura, Amelia Pasikala, Harmony Kautai, Cortez Te Pou, Niamh Jefferson, Amber McKenzie, Michaela Baker, Shaylee Tipiwai, Krysten Cottrell tries; Cottrell 6 con). HT: 0-19
Otago 14 (Zoe Whatarau, Rosie Kelly tries; Kelly 2 con) Manawatu 28 (Selica Winiata, Chrystal Mayes, Carys Dallinger, Janna Michal Vaughan tries; Winiata 4 con)