Stuart Broad led an England fight back in Whangarei but it was not enough to prevent a New Zealand XI claiming a last-ball victory.
In the second and final warm-up match before the Twenty20 series begins on Saturday, England posted a moderate 170-5 from their 20 overs after half centuries from Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler.
The hosts made a good start to their reply, including a bludgeoned 64 from Tom Latham, but they still needed a four from the final ball from Matt Henry to get them over the line.
Opener Michael Lumb led from the front with 45 from 36 deliveries but with Alex Hales, Luke Wright and Jonny Bairstow all falling cheaply it was left to Morgan and Buttler to come to the rescue again.
The pair put on an unbroken 71-run stand in Tuesday's win over the same opponents at the Cobham Oval and they compiled a partnership of 87 this time.
Morgan was left unbeaten on 51 from 28 balls, completing his half century by clubbing Neil Wagner for six over midwicket off the final ball.
Buttler on song
Buttler also reached 51 before he fell from the penultimate delivery when he attempted a six to long-on but was caught on the rope by Doug Bracewell.
A combination of loose bowling from England and some aggressive play from the New Zealand batsmen got the hosts' reply off to an ominous start.
Openers Hamish Rutherford and Anton Devcich put on 50 from just 35 deliveries with a fifth over from Steven Finn costing 20 runs.
Samit Patel was one of the few bright points in the England attack, giving up just 20 runs from his four overs, and he had Rutherford caught at long-on.
But that brought Latham to the crease and he feasted on some buffet bowling to rack up 64 before he fell in the penultimate over, becoming one of Broad's three scalps.
Captain Broad (3-24) had Neil Broom caught at short fine-leg, took a fine one-handed catch to remove the dangerous Colin Munro and then accounted for Luke Ronchi as the hosts slipped from 123-2 to 162-5.
And despite their best efforts to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, the New Zealand XI finally secured victory when Henry timed a four of the final delivery from Finn (1-44).
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