A battle-scarred Tom Latham might have fell 14 short of the ultimate reward for his work, but said if his side had been offered 243-2 at the start of play they would have taken it without hesitation.
Latham, 28, was superb on day one, falling for 86 after frustrating the West Indies attack with his ability to leave on both line and length.
He shared a 154-run partnership with Kane Williamson for the second wicket and did so with a gash on his chin suffered during a slip-catching exercise during warm-ups.
"It wasn't ideal but we're all good. There're no stitches, just a bit of glue," he said of his wound.
On a wicket that was green even by New Zealand standards, there was always a chance the visitors could get a roll on but that never looked like happening.
"We managed to do a lot of hard work and it was nice to build a partnership with Kane to get us into a strong position.
"There's a lot of hard work to do over the next couple of days to [cement] that position."
Latham looked more fluent than Williamson for much of his innings and said he was aided by the Windies getting their lengths wrong.
"They probably bowled a fraction short on a wicket that was offering a little bit of assistance. We were allowed to leave balls on length and get ourselves in that way.
"There were periods throughout the innings when they did bowl tightly and the scoreboard didn't move too far but that's the beauty of a partnership; you're there together and we got through those periods.
"That's what we talk about as a unit, building those partnerships."
A 12th test century was a few crisp boundaries away when Kemar Roach penetrated his forward defence. Latham acknowledged it was always frustrating to fall close to milestones after working so hard.
"From a numbers point of view, as an opener in New Zealand when you're sent in your role looks a little different. It was nice to get in that position… but you get to a point where it would have been nice to kick on.
"But it's about doing a role for the team."
Williamson called for the trainer twice as the day wore on and Latham said his captain was cramping up.
"Obviously T20 to test cricket, it's a little bit longer," Latham joked.
West Indies vice-captain Roston Chase lamented his side's inability to make the batsmen play more deliveries, though he admired the patience of Latham and Williamson.
"They batted really well, but it wasn't happening for us," he said. "The pitch played really well."
Quick wickets with the new ball tomorrow morning would be the key, he said.