New Zealand opener Tim McIntosh took advantage of a West Indies fielding blunder to put his side in a good position at 145 for two in their first innings at the close of the second day of the second Test on Saturday.
McIntosh had a let-off when he was on 10 and New Zealand 36 for one in reply to West Indies' first innings total of 307.
Bowler Fidel Edwards and wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin let a skied pull shot fall harmlessly between them as both stood still waiting for the other to take the catch.
By the close of play in Napier, McIntosh had moved to 62 with Ross Taylor, having just come to the crease, alongside him on four.
"Tim McIntosh has just come into the team and the selectors asked him to bat for time and that's exactly what he's done," New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori told Sky Television.
The only New Zealand batsmen to fall were an out-of-sorts Jamie How, caught at square leg by Sewnarine Chattergoon off Edwards for 12, and gritty No. 3 Daniel Flynn, who was caught and bowled by the impressive Edwards for 57.
McIntosh and Flynn's 118-run second wicket partnership has put New Zealand in the driving seat but they had to fight hard for every run against a disciplined West Indies attack.
"Tomorrow's morning session sets up the game for us," Vettori added. "We want to bat another day and put the pressure on the West Indies for the final two days."
Edwards was the pick of the bowlers, although tall left arm spinner Sulieman Benn was unlucky not to have Flynn lbw early in his innings during a probing spell.
Earlier in the day, seamer Iain O'Brien claimed six wickets as New Zealand bowled the visitors out for 307, the West Indies tail once again failing to make a meaningful contribution.
O'Brien took a career-best six for 75 after tearing through the lower order and wrapping up the West Indies innings midway through the first session.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul was left stranded on 126 not out as the West Indies bowlers succumbed to the 31-year-old O'Brien with some poor shot making.
O'Brien struck early in his spell to remove first test century maker Jerome Taylor (18), who was caught down the leg side by keeper Brendon McCullum attempting to hook a short ball.
Benn, who averages 20 in first-class cricket, lasted just two deliveries before wafting at a ball outside off stump and edging it to McCullum.
The New Zealand keeper claimed his fifth catch of the innings when Daren Powell (6) fell in almost identical fashion to Taylor, attempting a hook shot after being peppered with short balls by O'Brien.
Edwards survived seven balls before O'Brien produced a perfect slower ball, trapping the West Indies number 11 on the foot in front of middle stump.