The Black Caps lost seven wickets after tea to slump to 221 all out on the opening day of the second test against the West Indies in Port of Spain.
Trent Boult clean bowled Chris Gayle for one leaving the West Indies 6 for 1 at stumps.
Ross Taylor finished on 45 not out while Tom Latham scored his third straight half-century but New Zealand lost their way in the final session after being 120-1 at one stage.
New Zealand were in a strong position shortly before tea at 146 for two before losing the wicket of Tom Latham for 82. The left-handed opener, playing in just his third test, passed 70 for the third straight time against the West Indies following scores of 83 and 73 in the opening test win at Sabina Park.
This time he fell 18 runs short of his first century when he was caught at slip by Sulieman Benn off the bowling of Kemar Roach, leaving New Zealand 159 for three.
Brendon McCullum (4) then fell shortly after the break and was followed by Jimmy Neesham (15), BJ Watling (0), Ish Sodhi (0), Tim Southee (10), Mark Craig (4) and Boult (1) as New Zealand lost seven wickets for just 60 runs.
Jerome Taylor led the way with the ball, finishing with 4-34 while Benn took 3-73.
Earlier Latham and Kane Williamson put on a century stand for the second wicket after opener Hamish Rutherford fell to Taylor following a 22-ball stand for three runs.
Williamson and Latham took New Zealand through to 86 for one a lunch before paceman Shannon Gabriel had Williamson caught hooking at fine leg for 42.
Latham almost got through to tea before departing. After the break it was a steady procession of New Zealand wickets as Ross Taylor saw seven different batting partners.
New Zealand lead the series 1-0 and are looking to win just their second ever test series in the West Indies.