The Highlanders bonus-point win against the Hurricanes means the Kings will finish last in their debut Super Rugby season.
The Highlanders beat the Canes 49-44 in a game that resembled one played between two teams whose play-off ambitions were ended some time ago.
The Highlanders have been last on the table all season but the five points takes them off the foot of the table for the first time this season.
The two teams scored 11 tries and the Highlanders were reduced to 14 men with five minutes to go but held firm to get the victory.
Hurricanes – Tries: Ash Dixon, Ben Franks, Julian Savea, Chris Smylie, James Broadhurst. Conversions: Beauden Barrett (5). Penalties: Barrett (3).
Highlanders – Tries: Mose Tuiali’i, Tamati Ellison, Aaron Smith, Kade Poki, Hosea Gear, Elliot Dixon. Conversions: Colin Slade (3), Hayden Parker (2). Penalties: Slade (3).