England captain Alastair Cook won the toss and batted but his side rarely got out of first gear in the face of some accurate bowling by the tourists.
Trent Boult was the pick of the attack, removing both Cook and Jonathan Trott after lunch on his way to an economical return of two wickets for 29 runs in 17 overs.
Fellow left-arm seamer Neil Wagner then dismissed Ian Bell for 31 in the final session. When rain forced an early close, the inexperienced Yorkshire duo of Joe Root (25 not out) and Jonathan Bairstow (three not out) were at the crease.
England’s plight would have been worse had not Jonathan Trott, who made a painstaking 39, been dropped by Bruce Martin off his own bowling when on nought.
New Zealand bowled 30 maidens in 80 overs yesterday — a testament to their accuracy and the inability of an England top-order missing the injured Kevin Pietersen to hit them out of their stride. At lunch, England were 56 for one with left-hander Cook 30 not out and Trott unbeaten on four.