The Silver Ferns overcame a slow start to beat New Zealand A 59-44 in the first game of the Cadbury Series in Palmerston North.
Playing their first match in 10 months, the Ferns were far from their best and led 30-25 at half time.
However, an improved effort in the third quarter extended that lead to 11 heading into the final term.
Dame Noeline Taurua started with Maia Wilson and Ameliaranne Ekenasio in the shooting circle, Gina Crampton, Kimiora Poi and Claire Kersten in the midcourt and Karin Burger and Jane Watson on defence.
Teenage shooter Grace Nweke came on in the second quarter her her first outing in the Silver Ferns dress, she sat out the third quarter and then returned to finish with 22 goals from 28 attempts.
Shannon Saunders, Sulu Fitzpatrick and Kelly Jury also got time on court.
Dame Noeline rated the Silver Ferns performance a four out of ten.
"I could see sporadically the areas that we were working on both defence and attack, I think the little attention to detail at times were missing I don't know if we were a bit tired or just trying to get our legs back out there again.
"Promising, but still a bit of work to do."
In the other game the New Zealand Men proved too good for a plucky New Zealand under-21 side winning 73-44.
Tonight the Ferns play the Men and NZ A play the under-21's.
Silver Ferns shooting statistics:
Grace Nweke 22/28 (77%)
Maia Wilson 21/24 (88%)
Te Paea Selby-Rickit 9/11 (82%)
Ameliaranne Ekenasio 7/9 (78%)
NZ A shooting statistics:
Ellie Bird 23/26 (89%)
Monica Falkner 11/14 (79%)
Aliyah Dunn 8/8 (100%)
Jamie Hume 2/4 (50%)