New Zealand drew first blood in the three-match one-day series against England, winning the opener by three wickets in Hamilton.
The match teetered one way and then the other as the Black Caps looked to chase down 259 for victory after England were bowled out in the final over of their innings.
But the return of Martin Guptill (27 not out), who had retired with a damaged hamstring after six overs, turned the course of the match as he joined Brendon McCullum (69 not out) to see his side home with seven balls left.
Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell and Joe Root had all struck half-centuries for the tourists but the innings never caught fire and their total was only par after being put in.
James Anderson, returning from a break, put England in the driving seat though with a wicket in his first over, bowling BJ Watling to become his country's all-time leading wicket-taker across all international formats.
Guptill then pulled up in pain having made three before Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor dug in, the pair taking the score to 75 before Chris Woakes (2-52) had the latter caught by Steven Finn behind square.
Woakes also sent back Grant Elliot after a quick-fire 22 and when Williamson was run-out for an impressive 74 following smart work by the same bowler, New Zealand's hopes rested with McCullum.
The hosts slipped behind the run-rate as wickets fell at the other end, Nathan McCullum slightly unfortunate to be given out LBW to Graeme Swann while Finn did well to cling on in the deep when Anthony Ellis skied Stuart Broad.
But his exit brought Guptill back to the crease and the timing was exquisite, the opener swiftly adding 41 with McCullum to scupper England's hopes of victory.
Trott (68) helped to lay the foundations with stands of 84 with Bell (64) and 89 with Root (56) but the last seven wickets only added 66 in England's 258.
Mitchell McClenaghan (4-56) struck early by bowling Alastair Cook with a ball that held it's line, but England recovered albeit in dogged fashion.
Bell was the more adventurous but on 26 had a let-off, mistiming a slog-sweep in Nathan McCullum's first over and dropped at deep midwicket by BJ Watling - who got to the ball but could not hold on.
The opener completed his 50 from 67 balls with a chip from the crease off Andrew Ellis straight over long-on for his second six to go with five fours.
But soon afterwards, up the wicket to try to manufacture runs into the off-side off James Franklin, he edged behind.
Joined by Root, Trott gradually increased his strike rate, but the big shots were hard work for both players - Root reprieved on 32 when DRS over-turned a caught-behind decision off Kyle Mills.
Trott went selflessly, bowled making room for a slog in powerplay - only for Eoin Morgan to follow him for just a single when he speared a low catch to point, very well held by Martin Guptill.
Root posted the quickest of England's 50s, from 58 balls but containing just four fours.
Jos Buttler stayed long enough to hit two sixes off just 13 balls. But immediately after the second, crashing McClenaghan over wide long-on off the back foot, he toe-ended a full-toss straight into the hands of extra-cover.
When Root also went trying to slog, bowled by Franklin, England were in danger of falling disappointingly short.
The tail chipped in, though, to help rescue a still below-par 68 in the last 10 available overs and make it appear an even contest.