South African captain Graeme Smith won the toss and chose to field in the 1st day of the 2nd test against South Africa in Hamilton.
Smith said cloudy conditions and a historical advantage to the side bowling first at the Seddon Park ground also influenced his decision.
Ross Taylor would also have bowled first and expected substantial movement to make batting tough for his side in the first two sessions.
South Africa named an unchanged XI after AB de Villiers was cleared to play, but New Zealand made two changes to their pace attack.
Tim Southee had been left out of the squad for the second Test altogether, but left-armer Trent Boult also misses the cut, with right-arm seamers Brent Arnel and Mark Gillespie earning Test recalls.
Batting first New Zealand loss their openers Nicol and Guptill early and were on 94 runs for the loss of two wickets when rain stopped play in the 36th over.