North Otago sit in fourth place although given a close tussle by Poverty Bay before the home team claimed a 12-10 win in Oamaru.
South Canterbury ventured north to beat East Coast 34-12 while Thames Valley beat West Coast away 27-8.
Horowhenua Kapiti had to share the try count with Buller in their 27-12 win in Westport but had the advantage of Jack Tatu-Robinson's goal-kicking to pick up 17 points from a conversion and five penalty goals. Outstanding English import Dan Smith continued his stellar debut season for Horowhenua Kapiti with another try.
Whanganui and Mid Canterbury kept themselves in the Meads Cup hunt with respective 48-13 and 28-18 wins over King Country, for whom All Blacks captain Sam Cane played three-quarters of the game, and Wairarapa Bush. It was Sam Cane's first game since suffering a pectoral injury in April and his only chance for game-time ahead of joining the All Blacks for their USA and Northern Tour next week.
Buller 12 Horowhenua Kapiti 27
Buller 12 (Erenimo Tau, Mitieli Kaludigibeci tries; Jesse Pitman Joass con) Horowhenua Kapiti 27 (Daniel Smith, Bryn Gordon tries; Jack Tatu-Robinsson con, 5 pen). HT: 0-16
East Coast 12 South Canterbury 34
East Coast 12 (Tawhao Stewart, Te Wehi Wright tries; Te Rangi Fraser con) South Canterbury 34 (James Hawkey, Junio Faavae, John Borland, Vaka Taelaga, Zack Saunders, Siu Kakala tries; Sam Briggs 2 con). HT: 5-12
King Country 13 Whanganui 48
King Country 13 (Bradly Jeffries try; Sio Tapili con, 2 pen) Whanganui 48 (Peceli Malanicagi, Semi Vodosese, Kieran Hussey, Dane Whale, Aleksio Vakarorogo, Kameli Kuruyabaki, Timose Serewalu tries; Ethan Robinson, 3 con, pen; Dane Whale 2 con). HT: 6-15
North Otago 12 Poverty Bay 10
North Otago 12 (Charles Elton, Tony Taufa tries; Josh Phipps con) Poverty Bay 10 (Jarryd Broughton try; Andrew Tauatevalu con, pen). HT: 7-3
West Coast 8 Thames Valley 27
West Coast 8 (Troy Tauwhare try; Sean McClure pen) Thames Valley 27 (Ben Bonnar, Fred Kei, Will Newbold tries; Carlos Price 3 con, 2 pen). HT: 3-13
Wairarapa Bush 18 Mid Canterbury 28
Wairarapa Bush 18 (Lewis Bush, Ueta Tufuga tries; Moomoo Falaniko con, 2 pen) Mid Canterbury 28 (Manasa Bari, Tom Reekie, R Vasurakuta, S Koroitamana tries; Reekie con, 2 pen). HT: 15-7