Defending World Rugby Sevens series champions South Africa triumphed at the series opening event in Dubai.
With his most experienced side ever, head coach Neil Powell notched up his fifth tournament win of 2017 and continued South Africa's dominance on the global stage.
The Kiwis capitalised on a yellow card to South African Rosko Specman to score tries but South Africa finished stronger and made the game safe when Tim Agaba scored in the final minute.
A fine first half display from Shujaa saw them lead 12-7 at the interval after turning tables that saw New Zealand sprint straight from kick-off for Dylan Collier to ground the converted try.
"We kind of let them back into the game", said Snyman.
After losing to New Zealand in the semifinal, England captain Tom Mitchell, said: "It's tough to take and frightful to lose but they seized their chances better than we did".
Jeffery Oluoch powered over from a turn over ball to put Kenya ahead, but his celebration was cut short by Seabelo Senatla, who latched onto a loose ball in the middle to draw level before he grabbed the brace for the tournament's champions.
It was the ideal start to the 2017/18 season after the success of the past year and the tonic the team needed ahead of this weekend's second tournament in Cape Town.
"It was a long pre-season and a lot of guys went on to play some 15s so it's a new team with some unfamiliar faces. We want to focus on our processes and if we leave the result and the result doesn't go our way then we're still happy", he added. Down to six men, Powell's team conceded tries to Andrew Knewstubb and Scott Curry and with only a few minutes to play there was only seven points in the tie.