Kiwis finish first day well on top after dour batting by the hosts.
New Zealand finished day one as they did in their recent Test series against England at home, with their bowlers mounting pressure all day to see the home side at 160-4.
The players left the field with 10 overs left in the day due to light rain, with play abandoned at 5.50pm local time when it became clear further the remaining overs would not be possible.
New Zealand claimed bragging rights on day one having won all three sessions thanks to a disciplined bowling attack which gave England nothing.
The hosts, who chose to bat, limped along and having lost regular wickets, find themselves in a tricky patch overnight with much to be done in the first two hours of play tomorrow.
Trent Boult was the star for the Kiwis in dismissing Jonathan Trott for 39 and the key wicket of England captain Alastair Cook for 32.
Spinner Bruce Martin continued his good day in the third session to further strangle the home side’s run rate, which finished at an even two for the day.
Martin secured 1-37 off 24 with 11 maidens on day one in what was a promising display for the rest of the series from the left-arm tweaker.
Starting the last session at 113-3, England continued to scratch around for runs with none readily forthcoming as pundits began to ask the question why Cook chose to bat first.
In the 79th over, England lost their fourth wicket when Ian Bell nibbled at a ball outside off-stump from Neil Wagner, in what was a crucial blow against the home side just four overs before the new ball was due.
At 157-4 England still had plenty of work to do, however, the late rain ensured New Zealand finished on top as the home side closed day one in disappointing fashion.
Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow will resume their innings’ tomorrow on 25no and 3no respectively with the added pressure as the last of the top-order batsmen left.