The Black Caps have scraped through to 281 for nine in the deciding match of the Chappell-Hadlee one-day series against Australia following a middle order collapse in Hamilton.
Despite losing opener Tom Latham for an eight ball duck, New Zealand built momentum with a partnership between opener Dean Brownlie and captain Kane Williamson.
The pair put on a 70 run partnership before Williamson edged one to wicketkeeper Peter Handscomb on 37 off the bowling off paceman Pat Cummins.
Next in was Ross Taylor who picked up where Williamson left off.
Taylor was in fine nick, quickly finding the middle of the bat and racing away to 50 off just 44 balls.
At the other end Brownlie brought up a 50 of his own off 65 deliveries.
Brownlie was eventually dismissed for 63 when he edged one to Handscomb off the bowling of James Faulkner, ending a 100 run partnership with Taylor.
At that point New Zealand were cruising at 176 for three off 32 overs but the momentum quickly swung back in Australia's favour.
The Black Caps lost three quick wickets for just 11 runs thanks to some disciplined bowling from the visitors to be 209 for six in the 40th over.
As Taylor's partners crumbled around him, the veteran batsman had to slow his run rate to protect New Zealand's innings.
Taylor did find a friend in Mitchell Santner who helped steady the last 10 overs and ease the pressure.
Santer's contribution paid dividends for Taylor, who went on to make his 16th ODI century off 96 balls.
The tonne equaled the record of most one-day centuries by a New Zealander held by Nathan Astle.
Taylor fell shortly after making his century, caught at deep square leg trying to go big off the bowling of Faulkner.
Following Taylor's dismissal the tail order folded, with Mitchell Starc picking up the wickets of Tim Southee and Lockie Ferguson in the final over to have a chance at a hat-trick.
Instead he bowled a no-ball full toss to Trent Boult, squandering his chances.
The over ended up being a good one for New Zealand with Mitchell Santer smashing two fours and a six to end the game and finish with an individual score of 38.
Starc and Faulkner each took three wickets, with Faulkner claiming the crucial scalps of Brownlie, Taylor and Neil Broom.
But with a slowish pitch and a quick outfield at Seddon Park, the Black Caps total of 281 may be difficult to defend.
If Australia chase it down they'll retain the Chappell-Hadlee trophy by drawing the series 1-1.
New Zealand won the first match at Auckland before the second was washed out in Napier.