The Highlanders moved closer to a Super Rugby Trans-Tasman play-off spot after the Hurricanes had been clinical against the Reds.
The Blues and the Crusaders made it four wins from four in their Super Rugby Trans-Tasman campaigns by beating the Reds and Western Force.
The Chiefs did their best to produce a stunning comeback, but the Reds held on to secure a hard-fought victory.
Richie Mo'unga shone as the Crusaders, winners of Super Rugby Aotearoa, thrashed Australian champions the Reds in their Trans Tasman clash.
Both New Zealand franchises were victorious when Super Rugby Trans-Tasman started in entertaining fashion.
James O'Connor darted in for the late try that gave the Reds victory over a Brumbies side who had three players sin-binned.
The Reds forged a comeback at the Suncorp Stadium to continue their perfect start to the Super Rugby Australia season.
After suffering back-to-back defeats, the Blues responded with a much-needed win over the Hurricanes in Auckland.
Alex Mafi crossed three times as the Reds thrashed Waratahs on Saturday, while the Chiefs edged out the Blues late on.
The Reds won in remarkable circumstances in Super Rugby AU, while the Super Rugby Aotearoa champions prevailed in much more routine fashion.