New Zealand 394 for 6 (Watling 119*, De Grandhomme 65, Williamson 51) lead England 353 (Stokes 91, Denly 74, Burns 52, Southee 4-88) by 41 runs
Mount Maunganui: England toiled on day three of the first Test as BJ Watling's unbeaten century put New Zealand in control at Mount Maunganui on Saturday.
Only two wickets fell all day as the Black Caps closed 41 runs ahead on 394-6, having begun 209 behind.
Joe Root dismissed Henry Nicholls lbw in the morning session but afterwards Watling and Colin de Grandhomme put on 119 in an excellent 39-over stand.
De Grandhomme was brilliantly caught by Dom Sibley for 65 off Ben Stokes but Watling batted all day for 119 not out.
He was dropped on 31 by Stokes but batted patiently and in the evening session was supported by Mitchell Santner, who made 31 in an unbroken partnership of 78.
England began the day eyeing a sizeable first-innings lead but their lack of potency leaves New Zealand more likely to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series, although the docile pitch at Mount Maunganui showed a surprising lack of deterioration.
The second new ball brought no increase in threat and England soon turned to defensive fields in the afternoon session, while they also seemed to lack energy in the field with a number of misfields
They bowled wide of off stump and failed to take a wicket in a session when bowling 20 overs or more for the 29th time since 2017. Only Sri Lanka (32) have done so more often in that time.
De Grandhomme made 65 before he hit a long hop from Stokes to Sibley, who dived brilliantly low to his right to take the catch, on the first ball after tea but Root's side failed to take advantage of that opening.
Number eight Santner was peppered with short balls early on but after uneasily battling through that period he made it to the close with relative ease.
Late on Watling was given out lbw to Archer but he successfully overturned the decision on review as replays showed an inside edge.