BJ Watling and Colin de Grandhomme thwarted England's bowlers and combined for a 119-run partnership on Saturday as New Zealand moved within sight of a first innings lead, reaching 316-5 at tea on the third day of the first test at the Bay Oval.
Wicketkeeper Watling was on 79, his 18th test half century, while de Grandhomme was on 65, as the pair moved within sight of England's 353 and frustrated their attack in Mt. Maunganui.
Henry Nicholls, who had resumed on 26 after he passed concussion tests following a blow on the helmet from a Jofra Archer bouncer just before the close of play on Friday, was the only wicket to fall, for 41.
The left-hander was trapped in front by the part-time off-spin of England captain Joe Root, before lunch.
Root had delayed taking the second new ball until after the break and while Sam Curran produced some consternation with his off cutters, neither de Grandhomme nor Watling appeared too troubled by the England pace attack.
Watling brought up his half century with a single through square leg off Curran from 149 deliveries.
De Grandhomme, who belted a six and four from successive Archer deliveries, reached his seventh test half century with two runs off the fast bowler a few overs later.
England opening batsman Rory Burns had to leave the field with blood dripping down his hand shortly before the tea break after he dropped a catch in the gully from a de Grandhomme cut and split the webbing between his thumb and forefinger.