The world champions capped their latest flurry of wins by again digging deep when Wales threatened a shock, showing their class to pull away with three tries in the final 11 minutes from Beauden Barrett (2) and Kieran Read.
Wales had led 16-15 after Leigh Halfpenny’s third penalty but Warren Gatland’s side were again given a painful lesson in finishing games after their fierce defence for three quarters of the contest fell apart.
“Defensively they (Wales) worked hard and at some point you pay a price for that,” All Blacks coach Steve Hansen told reporters.
“You could see the game turning our way in the second half.”
Defeat left Wales still searching for their first win over New Zealand since 1953 and extended their wait for a ‘big three’ southern hemisphere scalp. Their last came in 2008 against Australia.
Wales coach Warren Gatland felt his side had “given everything”.
“There were periods today when we rattled them and put them under some pressure. But that’s why they are the best team in the world,” he said.
All the tries came in the second half with Julian Savea and Jerome Kaino also crossing for the All Blacks. Rhys Webb touched down for Wales who, with a frenzied crowd right behind them, mixed aggression with tenacity before wilting late on.
The All Blacks head home in good heart after following up tour wins over the United States, England and Scotland and will return to these shores next year full of confidence that they can defend their world title.
The men in black, restored to an almost full-strength lineup after a run out for fringe players against Scotland, had shown little spark in the opening half in which only a penalty apiece troubled the scoreboard.
Flyhalf Barrett, handed the start with neither Dan Carter nor Aaron Cruden in the match squad, made up for a poor first-half display by sparking the All Blacks into life after the break.
Savea scampered over in the corner soon after the restart but after Webb replied under the posts it was Barrett who came to the fore.
His pinpoint crossfield kick allowed Conrad Smith to feed Kaino before Barrett, having moved to full back with Colin Slade taking over at flyhalf, chipped over the top to gather, take advantage of a kind bounce and score.
Read charged down a clearance to add another score before another crossfield kick, this time from Slade, led to Barrett’s second score.
(Reporting by Justin Palmer; editing by Tony Jimenez and Ian Chadband)