At stumps at Eden Park in the series-deciding final Test, New Zealand were 35 for three, leading by 274 after dismissing England for 204.
Opener Peter Fulton was unbeaten on 14 which included three boundaries, with Dean Brownlie on 13. Left-arm pacer Trent Boult produced his best Test figures of 6-68 while Southee finished with 3-44. But in a chaotic final session of play, eight wickets fell for 39 runs as the England tail collapsed and the New Zealand top order followed suit, increasing the chances of a decision in the deadlocked series.
New Zealand decided not to enforce the follow on after ripping out the England tail after tea as they gambled on bowling last on a deteriorating wicket.
But the strategy appeared to backfire as Hamish Rutherford fell on the third ball he faced to start a collapse that reduced the Kiwis to 8-3 before Fulton and Brownlie steered them through to stumps.