Port-of-Spain: Left-handed opener Tom Latham hit a resolute 82 on Monday but pacer Jerome Taylor took 4 for 34 as the West Indies hit back to bowl out New Zealand for 221 on day one of the second Test.
The hosts were 6 for 1 in reply by stumps at Queen's Park Oval.
The Black Caps, after winning the toss, were coasting when Latham and Kane Williamson (42) shared a second wicket stand of 104.
But Taylor inspired the hosts' fightback while left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn chipped in with 3 for 73 and seamer Shannon Gabriel took 2 for 43.
Ross Taylor rode his luck for an unbeaten 45 before he ran out of partners.
Earlier, the West Indies earned an early breakthrough when the recalled Hamish Rutherford edged Taylor to first slip at 16 for 1.
But Latham and Williamson forged a stubborn partnership to dull the home team's attack either side of lunch.
Williamson, when 19, survived one of five chances squandered by the hosts during the day when Chris Gayle floored a catch at slip off Benn as the batsman cut.
Latham, who scored 83 and 73 in the first test won by New Zealand in Jamaica, reached his third straight half century. However, he also enjoyed some luck soon afterward when a thick edge off Benn was dropped by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin.
Gabriel finally produced the breakthrough midway through the second session when Williamson, after hitting five fours off 104 balls, top-edged a bouncer down to fine leg at 120 for 2.
Latham was eyeing a maiden Test century when Kemar Roach found his edge and Benn produced an excellent diving catch at gully.
The hosts should have dented New Zealand further before tea but Ross Taylor survived three chances in the final two overs before tea.
Newcomer Jermaine Blackwood failed to get a hand on a cut low down off Benn, while Roach saw an edge fly past an unmoving Ramdin and an on-drive was put down by Kirk Edwards.
But the West Indies dominated the final session, with Benn gaining an lbw verdict against skipper Brendon McCullum in the first over after tea and Taylor prising out Jimmy Neesham (15), BJ Watling (0) and Ish Sodhi (0) to outside edges.
Benn wrapped up the innings with two of the final three wickets.
The West Indies' reply stuttered as 101-Test veteran Gayle (1) lost his off stump to Trent Boult's outswinger.
But Kraigg Brathwaite (4 not out) and nightwatchman Benn (0 not out) survived until the close.