James Anderson became the fourth Englishman to take 300 Test wickets as New Zealand closed day two of the series opener at Lord's on 152-4.
Kane Williamson was on 44 not out while Brendon McCullum had one to his name when bad light ended play early with the tourists trailing England's first-innings total of 232 by 79 runs.
Anderson, playing in his 81st Test, removed Hamish Rutherford and Peter Fulton in the afternoon session to join Sir Ian Botham (383), Bob Willis (325) and Fred Trueman (307) in the exclusive club.
In good conditions for seam bowling, Rutherford edged to Alastair Cook at first slip in Anderson's opening over and Fulton followed later in the same spell, caught by Graeme Swann at second slip.
"It is huge. It was quite an emotional moment for me and it was great that I could celebrate with all the guys who I have been playing with for so long," Anderson told Sky Sports at the tea break.
Fulton's exit left New Zealand struggling on 7-2 early in their reply, but Ross Taylor took the attack to the hosts with 66 - making him the first player to pass 50 in the match - that included 13 boundaries, many of them through the backward point region.
Anderson eventually had the former Kiwi captain lbw to finish with 3-32, while Steve Finn (1-42) made use of the review system to get Dean Brownlie (23) leg before after umpire Steve Davis had rejected England's initial appeal.
Still, England have work to do after posting a disappointing total with the bat. Jonny Bairstow was last out for 41 - the top score of the innings - as England collapsed from their overnight position of 160-4.
Bairstow and fellow Yorkshireman Joe Root negotiated the first hour of the day without undue alarm before Tim Southee removed Root (40), caught behind down the leg side, and Matt Prior, lbw, with successive deliveries.
Southee's fellow seamer Neil Wagner (3-70) followed up with the wickets of Stuart Broad and Swann and, at that point, England were 201-8 having lost four wickets in 17 deliveries.
Bairstow eked out a few more runs either side of lunch in the company of Finn and Anderson before Southee took a sharp caught-and-bowled chance to complete figures of 4-58.