New Zealand captain Kane Williamson struck a match-defining 72, but only after he was handed a reprieve on nought as England seamer Mark Wood failed to hit the stumps with a run out chance from close range.
England's Trans-Tasman tri-series hopes are all but over after a 12-run defeat by New Zealand.
Williamson shared an 82-run second wicket partnership with Martin Guptill (65) which laid the foundation for the innings and with his strike rate of 156.5 - 72 from 65 balls - put an end to rumblings that he might be out of place in the shortest format. Mark Chapman, the former Hong Kong global, played a cameo on debut, while Adil Rashid was England's most successful bowler with 2 for 36.
Sodhi, Boult and Mitchell Santner took two wickets apiece, while Southee claimed one. When Seifert hit England's best bowler Jordan twice over the rope in the final over New Zealand had a total way higher than they would have expected and a daunting target.
England's bowlers had not done their batsman any favours with their display, especially with the tourists having scored 155 and 137 in two defeats by Australia going into the match.
Buttler put the hosts in after winning the toss, hoping an mottled-looking drop-in pitch with huge bald patches would prove unplayable. Liam Plunkett was rusty on his return from a hamstring strain; Jordan was driven for two sixes in the last over by the second NZ debutant Tim Seifert, who like Chapman gave New Zealand's innings a final thrust with a couple of sixes.
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Malan and David Willey hit out as they tried to steer England to an unlikely victory but the former's dismissal swung the game in the hosts' favour.
Kiwi batsman Colin de Grandhomme was aiming to get off the mark with a massive shot that looked to be sailing over the long-on boundary with just Jordan to beat in the outfield.
James Vince was on his way back to the pavilion shortly after as he was run out by Williamson for 10 runs. They need to think a little bit more.
"It's important we try and get a read of the surface as quickly as possible and get stuck into our work". England bowled a lot of length balls, they were not the thing to bowl on there, it was a good pitch. We did not get the cameos in the middle either.
"You always want more runs and you always want to contribute more to a team performance. Trent was outstanding at the death, but we knew it would be a challenge and the guys stepped up to the mark today".