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The Black Ferns backed-up territorial dominance with a strong defence as England, playing them in the final for the third consecutive time, threw the kitchen sink at them in front of a crowd of 13,253.
Centre Kelly Brazier kicked what proved to be the winning penalty with 14 minutes left.
Winger Carla Hohepa opened the scoring with a 33rd-minute converted try, touching down for the seventh time in the tournament for the only points of the first half.
England first-five eighth Katy McLean and Brazier traded penalties before Charlotte Barras barged over for a 61st-minute try.
McLean landed the conversion to level the score but Brazier's late penalty clinched victory for New Zealand.
New Zealand ripped into England from the kick off and only a superb one on one tackle from Danielle Waterman on Brazier halted the centre after a jinking run.
It was all New Zealand in the opening 10 minutes as England defended desperately. Emma Jensen's 14th minute penalty miss kept the game scoreless after another England transgression.
The pressure on England lifted slightly when New Zealand first five-eighth Anna Richards was sin binned for not rolling away but Katy McLean couldn't capitalise for England when her first penalty effort drifted just wide.
The penalty count continued to rise against New Zealand as England finally got some ball to work with and prop Mel Bosman was also yellow carded.
But despite playing with less than their full complement, the Black Ferns struck first when Carla Hohepa just evaded Rachael Burford and stepped Amy Turner to score the game's first try and her seventh of the tournament. Brazier converted for 7-0.
In the last kick of the half, McLean hit the upright with a penalty attempt to leave New Zealand 7-0 in the lead at halftime.
McLean made amends with an early second half penalty but New Zealand came back.
Hohepa nearly added a second try when she pounced on an England turnover but lock Joanna McGilchrist produced the cover tackle of the tournament.
Brazier stretched New Zealand's lead to 10-3 with a penalty but they lost their skipper Melissa Ruscoe to yet another yellow card.
England equalised when they opted to scrummage from the penalty and, after great work from the pack, the ball was popped onto the blindside for Charlotte Barras to score her fourth try of the tournament which McLean superbly converted.
New Zealand's winning points came off a penalty after they drove deep into English territory and Brazier landed a nerveless penalty from just inside the 22m line.
The New Zealand defence then proved impenetrable as England sought to win the game from deep inside their half in the final minutes.
For her efforts, Hohepa was adjudged the International Rugby Board's personality of the year.