The Chiefs lost captain Mils Muliaina to an early blow but broke their 2011 drought and home duck with a 38-10 bonus-point victory over Super Rugby newcomers the Melbourne Rebels.
In a big blow, influential leader Muliaina took a swinging arm from blindside flanker Jarrod Saffy to the kidney while securing the opening kick-off.
The All Blacks full-back hovered in the backfield and did not recover. He was replaced after 18 minutes by Tim Nanai-Williams, who instigated the bonus-point try which was scored by Lelia Masaga three minutes from full-time.
It was Masaga's second try of the second half, with Sitiveni Sivivatu and Sona Taumalolo also scoring tries for the home side.
Gareth Delve scored the Rebels' solitary try, with Danny Cipriani converting and scoring the visitors' other three points with a penalty.